US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $139,000 in fines to New Jersey-based
Kuehne Chemical for workplace hazards at Delaware City, Del., facility
DELAWARE CITY, Del. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited South Kearny, N.J.-headquartered Kuehne Chemical Co. Inc. for eight repeat and 13 serious safety and health violations at its Delaware City facility. Proposed penalties total $139,000 following an inspection that was initiated as part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates.
"By disregarding OSHA's standards, this company is leaving its employees vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injury or even death," said Domenick Salvatore, director of OSHA's Wilmington Area Office. "It is imperative that Kuehne Chemical Co. address the cited violations immediately."
The repeat violations, with $63,760 in penalties, include electrical and welding hazards, as well as the company's failure to properly guard platforms, provide machine guarding, ensure exit routes were properly marked, and ensure that the process hazard analysis addressed possible safety and health effects from failure of controls. OSHA cited the company for the same violations in 2008 and 2011. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
The serious violations, with $75,240 in penalties, involve the company's failure to provide proper housekeeping, guard machines, provide process safety information related to consequences of deviation, ensure the use of proper electrical and wiring methods, and provide personal protective equipment for workers exposed to electrical hazards. 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.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/KuehneChemicalCompany_311812739_02-22-2012.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/KuehneChemicalCompany_311812705_02-22-2012.pdf*.
Kuehne Chemical Co. Inc. is a bleach manufacturer and chlorine and caustic soda reseller that employs 45 workers at its Delaware City facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties 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 agency's Wilmington office at 302-573-6518.
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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.