Blast Injured Two at Manufacturing Plant

OSHA has fined Polychem Services Inc. $110,000 in the enforcement case.

After two temporary workers were injured in an explosion at Polychem Services Inc. of Chicago Heights, Ill.,, leaving them unable to return to work for months after being hospitalized with first- and second-degree burns, OSHA has cited the company, according to the agency's news release. The blast was ignited by a gas-powered forklift, according to the agency.

An OSHA investigation into the incident identified six willful, one repeat, and four serious safety violations for the company. "Two employees in their prime work years have suffered severe and painful injuries that keep them from their livelihood because Polychem Services ignored worker safety," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. "Lack of training, combined with using a forklift not approved for this environment, proved an explosive combination. When you operate a plant producing flammable materials and byproducts, worker protection must be job one."

OSHA's release identified the temporary services company that assigned the two employees to the plant, a 34-year-old worker who had been employed at the facility for about six weeks and was hospitalized for six days and a 35-year-old worker at the plant for about 11 months who was hospitalized for one day, but said the company was not cited because it did not oversee or direct work at the site.

The investigation found that Polychem Services failed to provide a suitable industrial vehicle for use in a hazardous location, did not train workers about hazardous workplace materials, and lacked adequate drenching facilities for workers exposed to corrosive chemicals.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Everything You Need to Know about Incident investigations

    Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps.

  • 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.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2020

    November December 2020

    Featuring:

    • COLD STRESS
      Managing Cold Stress
    • TRAINING: FALL PROTECTION
      Providing Training for Fall Protection
    • PPE: HEARING PROTECTION
      Eight Tips for Hearing Testing Day
    • FACILITY SECURITY
      Incorporating COVID-19 Protections into Safety Programs
    View This Issue