Sustained Outrage

OSHA cites DuPont in fatal phosgene leak

Federal workplace safety regulators have cited DuPont Co. with multiple serious safety violations and fined the company $43,000 in response to the January phosgene leak that killed a worker at the Belle plant.

According to a news release issued by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

As a result of the investigation, OSHA has cited DuPont with six serious violations including the company’s failure to properly inspect piping used to transfer phosgene, perform a thorough process hazard analysis for its phosgene operation, train workers on hazards associated with phosgene, thoroughly inspect all high-risk sections of piping used to transfer oleum, and properly install energized electrical conductors. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard the employer knew or should have known about.

The company was also cited for five other-than-serious violations due to improper recordkeeping.

Assistant labor secretary for OSHA David Michaels said:

OSHA’s process safety management standard requires that companies anticipate the possible hazards associated with processes involving highly hazardous chemicals like phosgene and oleum. Workers are left vulnerable to life-threatening or permanent injuries and illness when these processes are not done in a thorough and comprehensive way.

I’ve posted the OSHA citations here.