The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Formosa Plastics Corp. with 16 alleged safety and health violations at its site in Delaware City, Del. Proposed penalties total $148,700.
Two repeat violations, with $66,000 in penalties, involve a failure to perform process equipment inspections and tests, inspect critical valves, and ensure that PVC dust did not accumulate on surfaces and the floor of a bagging area. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The same violation was cited following a separate investigation in March 2010.
Fourteen serious violations include electrical hazards, a deficient process safety management program, incomplete emergency shutdown procedures, no machine guarding, a lack of training for workers participating in emergency response and failing to periodically evaluate contractor performance. 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. The citations carry $82,700 in penalties.
"This employer continues to disregard OSHA's process safety management standards and put its workers at risk of injury and possible death," said Domenick Salvatore, director of OSHA's Wilmington Area Office. "Employers are responsible for ensuring safe and healthful workplaces, and will be held legally accountable when they fail to do so."
Headquartered in Livingston, N.J., Formosa Plastics employs 107 workers at its Delaware City site. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
For more information, visit www.osha.gov.