Occupational Health & Safety

Methyl Chloride Release at Plant Leads to $63,000 Fine

"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.

OSHA has cited Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry LLC in Morris, Ill., a manufacturer of chemical surfactants, for nine serious violations of OSHA's process safety management standards. OSHA initiated the inspection in May after a release of methyl chloride was reported at the plant. 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.

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