OSHA Cites Huntsman Petrochemical for Poor Process Safety Procedures

An incident at a Conroe, Texas, plant prompted the investigation that resulted in 12 serious citations.

OSHA issued Huntsman Petrochemical LLC, headquartered in Houston, Texas, 12 serious citations for an inadequate process safety management program and deficient lockout/tagout procedures to prevent the accidental start-up of machinery, the agency said.

The violations were found at the company's facility on Jefferson Chemical Road in Conroe, Texas. Proposed penalties total $75,600.

The agency began its investigation June 7 in response to an incident in one of the company's process units.

Alleged serious violations include failing to:

  • incorporate operating procedures for all safety devices in the company's operating guide;
  • adequately train employees in safe operating procedures;
  • properly shut down process equipment;
  • identify and isolate all energy sources to the equipment; and
  • ensure lockout/tagout energy isolating devices such as line valves prior to employees performing maintenance on the equipment.

Huntsman Petrochemical, which employs about 150 workers at its Conroe facility, is a unit of Huntsman International LLC. That company is a subsidiary of Huntsman Corp., which employs more than 11,000 worldwide.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Houston, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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