The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has discovered an explosion that killed one employee at a pharmaceutical chemical plant in Massachusetts might have been prevented, and proposed practically $300,000 in penalties.
The May explosion on the Seqens plant in Newburyport, killed Jack O’Keefe, 62, of Methuen. Video confirmed many of the roof torn off a constructing.
Results of the OSHA investigation introduced Thursday discovered Seqens and its subsidiary PolyCarbon Industries Inc. “lacked safeguards” within the chemical-making course of. The investigation discovered quite a few deficiencies within the facility’s security administration program for extremely hazardous chemical substances. It additionally discovered the corporate didn’t decide the combustibility hazards of supplies used within the manufacturing of the chemical Dekon 139 and didn’t embrace protected higher and decrease temperature limits to stop the decomposition of Dekon 139.
O’Keefe was killed when a stress vessel exploded.
The circumstances discovered in the course of the investigation led OSHA to quote each firms with 11 violations, together with eight critical ones, and suggest $298,254 in penalties. Representatives from the businesses are anticipated to satisfy with the corporate Tuesday, which has till Nov. 29 to both attain a settlement with OSHA or to contest the citations and penalties.
“The requirements of OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard are stringent and comprehensive because failure to comply fully can have a severe or catastrophic impact on employees that, in this case, cost a worker their life,” mentioned OSHA’s Area Director Sarah Carle in Andover, Massachusetts. “Employers must rigorously, completely and continuously scrutinize, update and maintain each element of the process properly to identify and minimize hazards and protect workers’ safety and health.”
Newburyport Mayor Sean Reardon mentioned it was “very saddening to see that this incident was preventable.”
“We will continue to collaborate with these partners to determine the best path forward, and to ensure that the neighboring businesses, schools, and residences are kept safe from these dangerous practices that OSHA is penalizing now,” he mentioned in a press release.
A spokesman for Seqens didn’t reply to a request for remark.