Texas workers injured by five chemical releases in three days
OSHA has cited Formosa Plastics Corp. and six subcontractors for exposing workers to chemical hazards at a Point Comfort, Texas worksite.
The contractors were: Infinity Maintenance; Maxim Crane Works; APRM Inc., doing business as, Plant Maintenance Services; Clark Constructors LLC, Process Service Specialist and Turner Industrial Group.
OSHA began investigating the natural gas processing facility in October 2014 after the facility experienced five incidents involving potential chemical releases in three days, resulting in worker injuries.
"Inhaling corrosive chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and chlorine can cause serious, even deadly, injuries," said Michael Rivera, OSHA's area director in Corpus Christi. "To send workers into that environment without personal protective equipment or proper training is unacceptable."
Formosa Plastics Corp. was cited for eight safety and health violations, including:
- not having adequate permits or conducting preventative maintenance;
- improper maintenance of equipment contributed to the release of sulfuric acid and chlorine;
- not providing face shields to workers who removed sulfuric acid from storage tanks; and
- not requiring employees to wear respiratory protection when exposed to a chlorine vapor cloud.
Infinity Maintenance and Maxim Crane Works were each cited for one serious violation for not providing adequate training to the workers who sustained chemical burns from sulfuric acid. Each violation carries a $7,000 proposed penalty. Infinity Maintenance was also cited for not keeping accurate OSHA 300 recordkeeping forms, with a penalty of $5,000.
APRM Inc., Clark Constructors LLC, Process Service Specialist and Turner Industrial Group were each cited for one serious safety violation for exposing employees to a hydrochloric vapor cloud without providing adequate training on the possible hazards they could encounter. Combined proposed penalties total $27,300.
Combined proposed penalties: $96,300.