Region 3 News Release: 09-258-PHI
March 16, 2009
Contact: Leni Fortson
U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites ICL Supresta Inc. for workplace safety and health hazards
GALLIPOLIS FERRY, W.Va. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited ICL Supresta Inc. for alleged workplace safety and health violations, proposing $44,000 in penalties. The industrial chemical company has 126 employees at its Gallipolis Ferry site.
OSHA initiated an investigation on Jan. 7, 2009, after being notified of two chemical releases that occurred on the same day at the facility. As a result of the investigation, OSHA issued citations for seven serious violations with a penalty of $34,000, one repeat violation with a penalty of $10,000 and one other-than-serious violation which carried no penalty.
"We encourage ICL Supresta to take immediate action to eliminate each identified hazard to prevent another release that could have farther-reaching consequences," said Jeff Funke, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office.
The serious violations include the company's failure to ensure that operating procedures covering safety and health considerations addressed special or unique hazards of the process, to conduct adequate inspections on process equipment, to ensure that proper respiratory protection and personal protective equipment were utilized during an emergency response, to adequately train first responders to an incident, to ensure proper fit testing for employees using respiratory protection, and to properly review and critique incident responses.
The repeat violation is due to the company's failure to complete action items identified during a process hazard analysis. A repeat citation is issued when a substantially similar violation is found at any of an employer's facilities in federal enforcement states within three years of a previous citation.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Charleston or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Charleston Area Office; telephone: 304-347-5937.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting almost 39,000 inspections and finding nearly 88,000 violations of its standards and regulations in fiscal year 2008.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.