Biodiesel Plant Busted for Process Safety Management Deficiencies

After receiving a complaint, OSHA opened an inspection focused on the agency's process safety management standard for facilities that use hazardous chemicals. Proposed fines total $76,500.

OSHA has cited biodiesel manufacturer Sanimax Inc. for 13 safety violations at its De Forest, Wis., facility. After receiving a complaint, OSHA opened an inspection focused on the agency's process safety management standard for facilities that use hazardous chemicals. Proposed fines total $76,500.

"Failing to follow process safety management procedures to reduce workers' exposure to the unexpected release of hazardous chemicals is unacceptable," said Kim Stille, OSHA's area director in Madison. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure that work environments are healthful and safe."

Twelve serious violations of the PSM standard involve failing to have adequate information concerning the technologies of the process, such as safe upper and lower limits for temperature, pressures, flows, and compositions; develop and implement written operating procedures; document that equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; correct deficiencies in the process hazard analysis; perform inspections and tests on process equipment; document fire protection requirements prior to beginning hot work operations; implement procedures for management of change; ensure employees covered under emergency response operations were adequately trained; conduct a process hazard analysis on the hydrogen storage and transfer unit; ensure written operating procedures covered abnormal operating situations; record required equipment inspections and conduct testing at required intervals; take action to correct deficiencies noted during equipment inspections; conduct a management of change analysis when required; and respond to deficiencies noted in an audit.

Sanimax, which has multiple locations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, reclaims materials such as animal byproducts and used cooking oils for goods including tallow, glycerin, proteins, leather, and biofuels.

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