Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry LLC in Morris, IL, a maker of chemical surfactants, is facing citations for nine serious process safety management standards violations, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.
The inspection started in May after a release of methyl chloride at the plant. The proposed fines total $63,000.
“Failing to follow process safety management procedures to reduce workers’ exposure to hazardous chemicals is unacceptable,” said Kathy Webb, OSHA’s area director in North Aurora. “Employers have a responsibility to ensure that work environments are healthful and safe.”
The serious violations involve failing to conduct a process hazard analysis on the hydrogen storage and transfer unit, allowing seven pressure relief valves to be missing the required design basis, failing to ensure that written operating procedures covered abnormal operating situations, failing to record required equipment inspections and conduct testing at required intervals, allowing unqualified individuals to conduct equipment inspections, failing to take action to correct deficiencies noted during equipment inspections, failing to conduct a management of change analysis when required and failing to respond to deficiencies noted in an audit.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.