Chemical vapor cloud leads to massive fine

by on January 10, 2013 · 1 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

Dover Chemical Co. (Dover, OH) faces $545,000 fine and has been placed in OSHA’s severe violators program after an OSHA investigation into an unexpected hazardous materials release.

The May 21 release of two chemicals created a vapor cloud that forced nearby residents to remain in their homes and shut down I-77 for several hours. The chemicals, the industrial solvent dipropylene glycol, and industrial stabilizer triphenyl phosphite, also caused two minor injuries and a temporary plant shutdown.

OSHA inspectors investigating the release determined that a PVC piping system leaked. They threw the book at Dover. They cited the company for 47 total violations, including four willful process-safety violations:

  • 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
  • using process safety information that does not detail the construction materials used for piping and piping system components.

OSHA issued a host of other citations, including 30 more serious process-safety management violations and 11 serious citations for a grab-bag of problems, including unguarded floor openings and lockout/tagout issues.

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1 Comment on This Post

  1. MunrosSafetyApparel
    January 29, 2013 - 4:10 pm

    Compliance and safety audits are performed for a reason. They help identify vulnerabilities and make adjustments to improve the safety of any workplace. Not following recommendations can create an unsafe workplace, and as this example shows, affected residents in the surrounding area.

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