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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-144-12-1
Friday, Dec. 1, 2000
Contact: Diana Petterson
PHONE: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222
OSHA PROPOSES $114,000 PENALTY AGAINST FORMOSA PLASTICS CORP., IN POINT COMFORT, TEXAS, FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Formosa Plastics Corp., in Point Comfort, Texas, for nine safety and health violations totaling $114,000, announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
The OSHA investigation began May 25 when an employee was severely injured in a fire at the plant.
Formosa Plastics, employees about 1,500 workers and manufactures plastics. OSHA's inspection of the company resulted in one willful, six serious and two repeat violations.
The one willful violation was for operating procedures that were inadequately written. A willful violation is defined as one committed with an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
The six serious violations were for failing to ensure that all affected employees such as process operators were aware that the process hazards analysis for the Polypropylene Unit No. 1 existed and were available at the facility; failing to properly handle and clean-up spills of combustible polypropylene and also failing to develop written procedures to address the scheduling, inspection and testing of process valves as part of a comprehensive maintenance program. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The two repeat violations were for failing to include piping and instrument diagrams in the company's process safety information and for failing to address hazards in its process hazard analysis. A repeat violation is defined as a violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order where, upon reinspection, a substantially similar violation is found.
Formosa has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal hearing with the Corpus Christi area director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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