Croda Inc. is facing $262,548 in fines after a chemical release at the New Castle, Delaware, manufacturing plant exposed workers to ethylene oxide, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The company faced 25 serious citations.
OSHA initiated an inspection after the exposure hospitalized one employee and left five others suffering symptoms of ethylene oxide (EtO) exposure.
Those 25 serious violations included deficient emergency action and response plans; failure to train employees on how to manage EtO leaks; and the use of fire protection, water deluge systems, and emergency shutdown procedures.
The company also failed to develop procedures for emergency responders to manage firewater amid an EtO release, activate the emergency alarm system, and provide employees with respiratory protection, OSHA investigators said.
“This incident could have been prevented if the employer had taken appropriate precautions,” said OSHA Area Director Erin G. Patterson, in Wilmington, Delaware. “By failing to follow well-known safety and health procedures, and provide training, they risked the health of their workers.”
Following receipt of the citations, Croda requested an informal conference with OSHA, and is working to reach a settlement.