Today's News / Compliance / Facility Safety

Wisc. worker made ill by chlorine gas exposure

After danger was known, company didn’t move other workers out of area

ambulanceAn aluminum plant worker sickened by hazardous chlorine gas while changing cylinders brought OSHA inspectors to Beck Aluminum Alloys Ltd., which operates Beck Aluminum Racine, for a close look at the company’s Racine, Wisc. plant.

One of their findings in that September, 2013 incident: that company officials did not remove other workers from the area after exposure to the gas was known. They also failed to evaluate the danger to life and health.

Beck Aluminum Alloys Ltd. has been cited for 13 serious violations, carrying proposed penalties of $77,472.

"It's unacceptable that Beck Aluminum Racine failed to develop safety procedures to prevent the release of chlorine gas during maintenance,” said Christine Zortman, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee.  Of the company’s failure to immediately remove employees from the area of potential exposure, Zortman said; “This can cause severe health issues related to the skin and the respiratory and central nervous systems. Exposure to high concentrations can result in death."

The company was cited for failing to establish lockout/tagout procedures to prevent the inadvertent release of chemical energy; an inability to estimate employee exposure during a chlorine release; failing to provide training to employees performing emergency response procedures; lack of annual inspections of energy control procedures; and stacking large totes of crushed aluminum casts in an unstable manner.

Six of the citations involve violations of OSHA's respiratory protection standards, such as not having a written respiratory protection program, failing to medically evaluate workers required to use a respirator and not providing adequate training.

Beck Aluminum Alloys Ltd. has headquarters in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, and employs about 115 workers nationwide. Beck Aluminum Racine employs about 40 workers.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

3/31/15 11:00 am EST

Changes to NFPA 70E® – What You Need to Know

NFPA ® for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is revised every three years, providing the most up-to-date requirements for safe work practices to reduce exposure to electrical hazards. This program analyzes several significant changes in 70E ® and is designed to clarify the reasoning behind the changes, and assist in determining how the changes impact employees and employers.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN0315_cover.jpg

2015 March

Check out ISHN's March issue, which features articles about moisture wicking technology, toxic gas detection and fall protection.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015

FDO JAN 2015 COVER

 

For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 

CHECK OUT THE JANUARY 2015 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.