OSHA Cites Manufacturer After Fatal Explosion
A U.S. Department of Labor investigation found that a Massachusetts pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturer and its parent company could have prevented an employee’s death.
The PolyCarbon Industries Inc./SEQENS SAS employee suffered fatal injuries from an explosion on May 4, 2023.
An investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that the manufacturer lacked required safeguards in a chemical manufacturing process.
OSHA identified numerous deficiencies in the facility’s process safety management program for highly hazardous chemicals for the production and drying of a chemical product called Dekon 139 and for combustible dust hazards.
During the process, a pressure vessel exploded causing the employee’s fatal injuries.
Specifically, OSHA investigators found that PolyCarbon/SEQENS did not:
- Determine the combustibility hazards of materials used in the Dekon 139 production process
- Include safe upper and lower temperature limits to prevent the decomposition of Dekon 139
- Evaluate the consequences of deviation in the Dekon 139 production process
- Establish written procedures to maintain the ongoing integrity of process equipment and provide clear instruction on consequences of deviation from steps in the operating procedures
- Update the process safety information to include steps to avoid consequences of deviation in temperature, properties and hazards of the chemicals used in the process
- Update standard operating procedures for producing Dekon 139 and its safety data sheet
- Review a November 2022 compliance audit report with all affected personnel whose job tasks are relevant to the report findings
- Track contract employee’s injury and illnesses related to the contractor’s work in the process areas
OSHA cited PolyCarbon Industries Inc./SEQENS SAS for 11 violations.
The agency assessed $298,254 in proposed penalties.
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