Serious safety violations at a chemical plant in Arkansas have resulted in a proposed $122,000 in fines for an Indiana company, federal regulators say.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited West Lafayette, Ind.-based Great Lakes Chemical Corp. with 18 serious safety violations at the company’s El Dorado, Ark., facility for exposing workers to the unexpected release of bromine.
OSHA’s Little Rock Area Office initiated an inspection in December under the agency’s Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program, which is designed to reduce or eliminate workplace hazards associated with the catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals.
Process safety management standard violations include the company’s failing to ensure that its process hazard analysis addresses hazards involved with valves being closed or blocked; develop procedures to ensure that levels are correctly established for pressure vessels and piping; and ensure that the compliance audit addresses procedures to assess the mechanical integrity of pressure vessels and piping, according to OSHA.
Additionally, the company failed to ensure that ladder-way platform openings were guarded by standard railings, regulators say.
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.
Great Lakes Chemical manufactures bromine fufural specialty chemicals and alkyl leads. The company employs about 4,000 workers nationwide, with about 270 at its facility in El Dorado on Haynesville Highway.
Great Lakes Chemical has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Little Rock or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.