Brenntag Northeast Inc. is facing $64,665 in fines for 14 safety violations, including chemical hazards found at the company’s Reading, PA, facility, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.
OSHA’s September inspection came as a result of the agency’s National Emphasis Program on process safety management for covered chemical facilities.
The serious violations, with a $63,000 penalty, include failing to protect workers from chemical hazards associated with working on a formaldehyde loading system; protect against fall hazards; complete and revalidate a process hazard analysis and resolve analysis recommendations in a timely manner; develop a lockout/tagout program or line breaking procedures for the formaldehyde loading system; provide training on usage and maintenance of the formaldehyde loading system; conduct inspections and testing of the formaldehyde loading system; ensure an approved forklift for a hazardous area; and ensure the use of approved wiring.
A serious citation is 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.
The other-than-serious violations, carrying a $1,665 penalty, include an electrical cord strung across a highly traveled road that make it exposed to vehicles running over it and a failure to decontaminate formaldehyde-exposed equipment.
An other-than-serious citation is for when a violation has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
“Process safety management prevents or mitigates a catastrophic release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in chemical processes,” said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA’s Harrisburg Area Office. “This company jeopardized the safety of its workers by failing to implement effectively OSHA’s process safety management regulations.”