Dec. 1, 2014
DuPont's chemical safety systems inadequate at Deepwater, New Jersey, plant
OSHA cites company for failure to protect workers from hazardous materials
DEEPWATER, N.J. – Hazardous chemicals known to cause severe burns, respiratory and reproductive health issues leaked out of a tanker truck in May 2014, which exposed workers at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Chamber Works in Deepwater, to health risks. A complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration prompted an inspection of the company under the agency's National Emphasis Program on Chemical Process Safety.
The investigation found 11 safety and health violations, with proposed penalties totaling $120,300. OSHA is now investigating a DuPont facility in La Porte, Texas, following a recent chemical leak that killed four workers.
"The chemicals used at the Deepwater plant are corrosive and volatile," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Area Office in Marlton. "Releasing toxic, reactive or flammable liquid can cause serious injury and death. It's vital that DuPont recognize these hazards and take the steps necessary to prevent situations like this tanker truck leak."
OSHA inspectors cited the company for eight serious violations under the process safety management standard. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known
In addition to the serious violations, the company failed to perform an analysis addressing hazards related to the storage and transport of chemicals. DuPont also did not perform inspections and tests on the equipment used in chemical processes, resulting in two repeat violations. The company was previously cited for these same violations at other facilities in 2010 and 2011. One other-than-serious violation was cited because the company failed to address issues relating to hazards promptly.
To see the citations, visit: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Dupont_977332_1117_14.pdf*.
DuPont Chamber Works has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally 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 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 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.
Release Number: 14-2150-NEW
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