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Cardolite Corp. is facing $82,500 in fines for one willful and 13 serious health and safety violations for exposing workers to chemical and other hazards at the company’s Newark, NJ, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA initiated its March investigation in response to a complaint and also as part of the agency’s national emphasis program on process safety management for covered chemical facilities.

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“Process safety management prevents or mitigates a catastrophic release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in chemical processes,” said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office. “By not complying with PSM requirements, Cardolite jeopardized the safety of its chemical operators and others working at the site by exposing them to dangerous fire hazards. This negligent behavior will not be tolerated.”

The willful violation is failing to monitor employees’ formaldehyde exposure at six-month intervals. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. That citation carries a $44,000 penalty.

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The serious violations include failing to ensure that workers are not overexposed to formaldehyde, implement effective engineering controls and work practices to reduce formaldehyde exposure, provide medical surveillance to workers overexposed to formaldehyde, ensure process safety information is accurate and in place, provide a hazard analysis of the facility in the event of a chemical release and its impact, provide refresher training to chemical operators on the epichlorohydrin process, inspect and test epichlorohydrin piping within the process building, and identify deficiencies in process safety management compliance audits. A serious violation occurs when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. That citation carries $38,500 in penalties.

Cardolite Corp. employs 70 workers at its Newark location. The company develops and manufactures products based on cashew nutshell liquid for the coating, friction material and adhesive markets.

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