Innovia Films cited by US Labor Department's OSHA; fines of $112,500
Flammable chemical hazards cited at Kansas film plant
TECUMSEH, Kan. – Innovia Films Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 19 safety violations. The Tecumseh plant, which produces films used in packaging, has been cited for exposing workers to flammable chemicals. OSHA has proposed penalties of $112,500.
The inspection was initiated in July 2013 under OSHA's Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program. The inspection found employees were exposed to health and safety hazards because the company lacked an appropriate process safety management program.
"Process safety management programs are designed to prevent the catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals," said Judy Freeman, OSHA's area director in Wichita. "The plant needs to ensure all equipment and new installations receive the proper evaluation and scrutiny before utilizing highly hazardous chemicals in the manufacturing process."
Process safety management encompasses a detailed set of requirements and procedures employers must follow to address hazards proactively that are associated with processes and equipment that use large quantities of hazardous chemicals. In this case, the majority of violations relate to potential flammable hazards stemming from the use of carbon disulfide, tetrahydrofuran and toluene processes.
The 17 serious process safety management violations cited include failing to update and complete a thorough process hazard analysis; resolve previous process hazard analysis action items; compile and implement written procedures for mechanical integrity; and implement a management-of-change program and provide training for the process safety management manual.
The additional two serious violations involve exposing workers to fall hazards and failure to provide personal protective equipment. 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.
OSHA's standards contain specific requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using dangerous chemicals. Additional information is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/processsafetymanagement/index.html.
To view the current citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/InnoviaFilmsInc_924097_0128_14.pdf*
Innovia Films Inc. employs about 185 workers at its Tecumseh plant and 1,350 worldwide. The company is based in Wigton, United Kingdom. The company's U.S. headquarters are in Atlanta, with other offices in Belgium and Australia. The company is a global manufacturer of two types of specialty film products. The products are used in packaging, labels, tobacco overwrap and the securities markets.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Wichita Area Office, 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 Wichita Area Office at 316-269-6644.
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.