Chlorine gas sickens worker; OSHA issues $77k fine

by on March 18, 2014 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network
gas cylinder

Beck Aluminum Alloys Ltd. (Racine, WI) faces $77,472 in fines after OSHA investigated a worker sickened by a chlorine release at the facility. OSHA inspectors issued 13 serious citations, saying the company didn’t evacuate the area after the gas-exposure came to light, and failed to properly evaluate the “danger to life and health.”

The worker, who survived, was changing compressed-gas cylinders when the hazardous gas was released. OSHA said that Beck hadn’t developed safety procedures in case of a chlorine release, calling it “unacceptable” because chlorine gas cylinders were swapped out regularly, especially during maintenance, according to an OSHA statement.

The serious citations included:

  • not establishing lockout/tagout procedures
  • not coming up with procedures to estimate employee exposure during a chlorine release, and
  • not training workers in performing emergency-response procedures.

Six citations were related to an inadequate respiratory-protection plan.

Bottom line: OSHA alleges the company was caught flat-footed by a predictable occurrence.

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