After an unexpected release of hazardous materials that led to the temporary shut-down of Dover Chemical Co. and an adjacent highway in Ohio in May, OSHA has cited the company for 47 health and safety violations.
Although no injuries were reported as a result of the incident, OSHA opened an investigation focused on the agency's standards for process safety management, known as PSM, at facilities that use highly hazardous chemicals. Proposed fines total $545,000.
The release of materials resulted from a breach of a polyvinyl chloride piping system. Due to the nature of the hazards and four willful violations cited, Dover Chemical has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Willful violations include failing to correct deficiencies found in compliance audits, not resolving recommendations identified during a process hazard analysis, having operating procedures that do not include the consequences for deviation or the steps required to correct or avoid deviation from operating limits, and process safety information that does not detail the construction materials used for piping and piping system components.