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U.S. Department of Labor | Jan. 27, 2016 BOS 2016-012

OSHA: Employees of Terryville, Connecticut, manufacturer
exposed to chemical, fire, other hazards
Phoenix Products Co. faces $61,600 in penalties for 15 serious violations

Employer name: Phoenix Products Co., 55 Container Dr., Terryville, Connecticut

Citations issued: On Jan. 19, 2016, the Hartford Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Phoenix Products Co., for 15 serious violations of workplace safety standards.

Investigation findings: Inspectors found that Phoenix Products, a manufacturer of swimming pool chemicals and acetone preparations used in nail polish were exposed employees to chemical, fire and exit access hazards. The company’s manufacturing processes use large amounts of the flammable chemicals acetone and isopropyl alcohol 99 percent. OSHA standards require a workplace to have a program for safely managing processes involving large amounts of these chemicals. The plant lacked a process safety management* program.
Deficiencies included:

  • Not conducting a hazard analysis.
  • Having no written operating procedures for each step of the process.
  • Not compiling information about process equipment.
  • Not inspecting and testing process equipment.
  • Not documenting employee training
  • Lacking an emergency action program.

Additional chemical and fire hazards involved a locked emergency exit gate, an exit route through a hazardous area, rusted exit stairs, lack of overflow protection for storage tanks, deficient vent piping and not documenting that storage tanks had been strength tested.

Proposed penalties: $61,600

Link to citations: Here*

Quote: “Work involving large amounts of highly hazardous chemicals requires that the employer analyze, document and provide safeguards to prevent the possibility of an explosion or uncontrolled release of these chemicals. The deficient safeguards at this plant increase employees’ risk of sustaining serious, even life-threatening burns,” said Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford. “Phoenix Products needs to effectively and expeditiously correct these deficiencies to minimize and prevent a catastrophic incident.”

Next: The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citation and proposed penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Information: To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Hartford office at 860-240-3152.

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.

# # #

Media Contact:

Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075, fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-167-BOS


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).


*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.


OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

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