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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-04-54-DAL
Weds., Jan 21, 2004
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
Penalties Total $110,000
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Honeywell International Inc. in Baton Rouge, La., has agreed to pay $110,000 in penalties and to correct hazards listed in U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations. The company was cited for failure to protect workers from hazardous gas, chemical burns and exposure to hydrofluoric acid.
"The Labor Department's significant fine of $110,000 sends a clear message that this Administration will not tolerate the violation of safety standards designed to protect workers," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "Although national injury and illness rates are at all-time lows, the Department will not rest until such tragic lapses in workplace safety are completely eliminated."
Citations were issued for three separate OSHA investigations stemming from incidents that occurred July 20, July 29 and Aug. 13, 2003. On July 20, approximately 20 employees were exposed to hazardous levels of chlorine gas for several hours, eight of whom were hospitalized; on July 29, an employee was killed when a release of chemical mixture from a pressurized cylinder caused extensive burns; and on Aug. 13, a sudden pressure surge caused the release of hydrofluoric acid.
Honeywell International Inc., which employs about 215 workers at its plant on 3000 Lupine St., in Baton Rouge, manufactures refrigerants and other specialty chemicals. The company, headquartered in Morristown, N.J., employs about 105,000 workers worldwide.
Twelve violations were issued for deficiencies in the employer's process safety management (PSM) program. PSM is an established set of procedures designed to prevent the release of toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive chemicals. One violation was issued for a deficiency in the employer's chemical hazard communication program, which is supposed to inform and train employees about chemicals in the workplace.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the OSHA Baton Rouge area office at (225) 298-5458. OSHA's toll-free hotline number may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers at 1-800-321-6742.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Because of improved inspection targeting, violations cited by OSHA increased to 83,539 in 2003, a 7.6 percent increase from 2002. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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