US Labor Department's OSHA cites Indiana-based Great Lakes Chemical
in El Dorado, Ark., for exposing workers to bromine hazards
Proposed fines total $122,000
EL DORADO, Ark. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited West Lafayette, Ind.-based Great Lakes Chemical Corp. with 18 serious safety violations at the company's El Dorado facility for exposing workers to the unexpected release of bromine. OSHA's Little Rock Area Office initiated an inspection in December under the agency's Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program, which is designed to reduce or eliminate workplace hazards associated with the catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals. Proposed penalties total $122,000.
Process safety management standard violations include the company's failing to ensure that its process hazard analysis addresses hazards involved with valves being closed or blocked; develop procedures to ensure that levels are correctly established for pressure vessels and piping; and ensure that the compliance audit addresses procedures to assess the mechanical integrity of pressure vessels and piping. Additionally, the company failed to ensure that ladder-way platform openings were guarded by standard railings. 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.
"By failing to ensure that safeguards are in place, Great Lakes Chemical puts its workers at risk of exposure to bromine, a highly hazardous chemical that can cause severe burns to the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system," said Carlos Reynolds, OSHA's area director in Little Rock. "Process safety management procedures must be followed to prevent the unexpected release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals."
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GreatLakesChemical_315973859_0607_12.pdf*.
Great Lakes Chemical manufactures bromine fufural specialty chemicals and alkyl leads. The company employs about 4,000 workers nationwide, with about 270 at its facility in El Dorado on Haynesville Highway. Great Lakes Chemical has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Little Rock 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 Little Rock office at 501-224-1841.
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 or CD 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.