August 4, 2016
OSHA fines South Jersey chemical facility $115K for exposing workers
to flammable gas, other hazards; finds 3 repeat, 8 serious violations
Employer name: Solvay Specialty Polymers USA LLC
Inspection site: 10 Leonard Lane, West Deptford, New Jersey
Citations issued: On August 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the employer for three repeat and eight serious safety violations.
Investigation findings: As part of the agency's national emphasis program for chemical facilities, OSHA inspected the company on Feb. 6, 2016, and found multiple violations of federal process safety management regulations, including not developing set written procedures for maintaining process equipment, which resulted in repeat violations.
In addition, OSHA issued citations for serious violations for the following:
- Having incomplete process safety information for equipment in the process.
- Failing to review operating procedures to comply with current operating practice.
- Failing to inspect and test process equipment.
- Failing to follow established procedures to manage changes to process chemicals, technology, equipment, and/or facilities.
- Failing to respond properly to a compliance audit.
Quote: "Our inspectors focused on vinylidene fluoride, a liquified flammable gas manufactured and used at Solvay Specialty Polymers' chemical facility. This gas poses serious safety and health risks to this company's employees, including fire and explosion hazards, frostbite, skin and lung irritation, and liver damage associated with chronic exposures. An effective process safety management program is needed to protect workers and prevent the catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office.
Proposed penalties: $115,000
The citation can be viewed at:
The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Marlton Area Office at 856-596-5200.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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Release Number: 16-1600-NEW (OSHA 16-97 Solvay)
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