OSHA Places DuPont in Severe Violator Enforcement Program

The November 2014 deaths of four workers at a faclity in La Porte, Texas, triggered a second inspection from OSHA.

DuPont has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program after an inspection was expanded following the November 2014 deaths of four workers at a plant in La Porte, Texas, the agency announced.

The incident occurred when a worker was overcome at the chemical manufacturing facility as a supply line unexpectedly released more than 20,000 pounds of methyl mercaptan, a colorless, toxic gas. Three co-workers then came to try to save the worker, but in the process all four were asphyxiated fatally by the gas.

The second investigation led OSHA to issue three willful, one repeat, and four serious violations in connection with DuPont's chemical manufacturing plant in La Porte.

"DuPont promotes itself as having a 'world-class safety' culture and even markets its safety expertise to other employers, but these four preventable workplace deaths and the very serious hazards we uncovered at this facility are evidence of a failed safety program," Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels said. "Nothing can bring these workers back to their loved ones. I hope that our continued scrutiny into this facility and into working conditions at other DuPont plants will mean no family ever suffers this loss again. We here at OSHA want DuPont and the chemical industry as a whole to hear this message loud and clear."

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