US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Duna USA in Baytown, Texas,
for multiple safety and health violations; fines exceed $136,000
BAYTOWN, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Duna USA Inc. for 29 serious and three other-than-serious violations, including exposing workers to hearing loss and flammable chemicals, among other hazards. Proposed penalties total $136,800 following a safety and health inspection initiated by OSHA's Houston South Area Office at the company's Baytown facility on Farm to Market 1405.
"This employer failed to implement an effective safety and health program to address hazardous and flammable chemicals in its high density foam manufacturing process," said Mark Briggs, director of OSHA's Houston South Area Office. "It is fortunate that in this case no serious injuries or illnesses resulted."
The serious violations involve failing to ensure the use of protection to prevent hearing loss while cutting foam products, develop an emergency action plan, develop adequate energy control procedures and utilize them during maintenance activities, perform initial monitoring for exposure to methylene chloride and implement process safety management elements with a system to address recommendations made by a process hazard analysis team. 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 other-than-serious violations include failing to adequately mark exit doors and to properly locate fire extinguishers. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DunaUSAInc_312927312_0927_11Citations.pdf*.
Duna USA, which manufactures rigid polyisocyanurate/polyurethane foam – also known as PIR and polyiso – bun stock, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston South area director or contest the citations and 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), its Houston South office at 281-286-0583 or its Houston North office at 281-591-2438.
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, audiotape 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.