DuPont Penalized Following Phosgene Fatality

OSHA has cited DuPont for exposing employees to hazardous chemicals following a fatal workplace incident in January at the company’s Belle, W.Va., plant. The agency initiated an investigation in January when a worker was exposed to a fatal amount of phosgene due to a ruptured hose. The investigation was subsequently expanded to cover two additional chemical releases that occurred at the plant involving oleum and hexazinone, as part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Process Safety Management at covered chemical facilities.

"OSHA's process safety management standard requires that companies anticipate the possible hazards associated with processes involving highly hazardous chemicals like phosgene and oleum," said OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels. "Workers are left vulnerable to life-threatening or permanent injuries and illness when these processes are not done in a thorough and comprehensive way."

As a result of the investigation, OSHA has cited DuPont with six serious violations including the company's failure to properly inspect piping used to transfer phosgene, perform a thorough process hazard analysis for its phosgene operation, train workers on hazards associated with phosgene, thoroughly inspect all high-risk sections of piping used to transfer oleum, and properly install energized electrical conductors. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard the employer knew or should have known about.

The company was also cited for five other-than-serious violations due to improper recordkeeping. Proposed penalties total $43,000. DuPont has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Charleston, W.Va., or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To read the itemized OSHA citations, go to http://wvgazette.com/static/watchdog/osha_dupont_belle_2010.pdf.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data and Maintain OSHA Compliance

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus