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One killed, two injured at chemical plant

Illinois workers may have heard that a chemical corporation was cited for 17 health and safety violations by OSHA after one employee was killed and two others were injured. In 2012, the company also received 19 citations after an OSHA inspection. The director of an OSHA regional office described the repeated violations as displaying a lack of commitment to employee health and safety. The employee died after his respiratory system was burned from hazardous chemical vapors released by a reactor that was over pressurized.

The violations were associated with process safety management standards. The standards establish requirements regarding the management practices, procedures and technologies applied to the management of hazardous substances associated with processes utilizing dangerous chemicals. The chemical corporation was cited for a wide variety of infractions, including not conducting fit tests for respirators and not providing medical examinations to employees who were required to use respirators.

The company was also cited for failing to identify previous workplace accidents that had potential of causing catastrophe again, failing to implement or establish written changes to their chemical manufacturing process and failure to ensure that the floor openings and pits were guarded. OSHA also cited the company for failing to ensure that there was an alarm on the reactor system to provide early warning that an evacuation was necessary. The corporation also failed to ensure that the equipment used was properly designed for the job at hand.

Relatives of people killed by another party's negligence typically benefit from consulting legal counsel. Lawyers may be able to help these people obtain restitution to help account for the hardships related to the fatal accident. Plaintiffs in wrongful death cases might be entitled to recover compensation for funeral costs, medical expenses and certain noneconomic hardships caused by the death of a loved one.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, "OSHA Cites MFG Chemical Inc. after One Fatality and Two Injuries", Jan. 11, 2015

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