Specialty chemical maker, Venture Chemicals Inc., is facing $63,000 in fines for 18 serious and nine other-than-serious violations at its Seagraves, TX, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA inspectors opened an investigation in December after an employee ended up fatally caught in a mixer/auger bin.

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“Venture Chemicals allowed workers to operate dangerous equipment without appropriate protective measures, and a worker died because of it. This death could have been prevented,” said Elizabeth Linda Routh, OSHA’s area director in Lubbock.

The investigation by OSHA’s Lubbock Area Office resulted in citations for build-up of combustible dust; multiple electrical violations that could have started a fire; failing to implement a respiratory program by fit testing, conducting medical evaluations and training workers required to wear respirators; and for not using required protective equipment on two augers — creating the possibility of amputation or other serious injury.

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An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

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