New Jersey Chemical Company Runs Afoul of OSHA's Site-Specific Program

The agency described Kuehne Chemical Co. Inc. as a bleach manufacturer and chlorine and caustic soda reseller that employs 45 workers at its Delaware City, Del. facility, where the inspection took place.

OSHA has proposed $139,000 in fines against Kuehne Chemical Co. of South Kearny, N.J., after inspecting its facility in Delaware City, Del. and citing it for eight alleged repeat and 13 serious safety and health violations. The inspection was made as part of the Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates.

"By disregarding OSHA's standards, this company is leaving its employees vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injury or even death," said Domenick Salvatore, director of OSHA's Wilmington Area Office. "It is imperative that Kuehne Chemical Co. address the cited violations immediately."

The repeat violations carry $63,760 in penalties and include electrical and welding hazards, guarding of platforms and machinery, ensuring exit routes were properly marked, and ensuring the process hazard analysis addressed possible safety and health effects from failure of controls. OSHA's announcement said the agency cited the company for the same violations in 2008 and 2011.

The serious violations, with $75,240 in penalties, involve housekeeping, guarding, electrical, and PPE alleged violations. According to OSHA, a serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/KuehneChemicalCompany_311812739_02-22-2012.pdf and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/KuehneChemicalCompany_311812705_02-22-2012.pdf.

The agency described Kuehne Chemical Co. Inc. as a bleach manufacturer and chlorine and caustic soda reseller that employs 45 workers at its Delaware City facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with the area director, or contest the case to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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