A manufacturing plant in Illinois faces a fine of $473,000 after a worker died from chemical burns. OSHA cited Raani Corp. for failing to seek emergency medical treatment after a worker incurred chemical burns at the Bedford Park, Ill., manufacturing plant on November 17th. The worker died from his injuries on December 8th. The company has been cited with 14 safety violations, including six willful violations. The worker reportedly died from burn injuries caused by high-temperature water and a solution that erupted while the worker was beneath an open tank hatch.
An investigation by OSHA determined that the company failed to call 911 to seek emergency medical treatment and neglected to wash the worker in the available safety shower. The worker was actually transferred to a local occupational health clinic in a co-worker’s vehicle more than 30 minutes after the injury. Willful violations have been cited for failing to:
• utilize available emergency care;
• provide, require and train workers on the proper use of protective clothing;
• provide eye, face and hand protection when handling high-temperature liquid and hazardous chemicals; and
• failing to provide hazard communication training to workers exposed to hazardous chemicals.
Generally, OSHA found workers wearing medical-grade latex gloves, which are not insulated or sufficient when using high-temperature liquids or the majority of chemicals used at the site. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. Additionally, seven serious safety violations were found which involved failing to:
• perform a personal protective equipment assessment;
• correct an improperly guarded platform;
• provide visible quick drenching facilities within the immediate work area;
• train about the usage of powered industrial vehicles;
• enclose live parts of electrical equipment;
• use proper safety precautions when transferring flammable liquids; and
• not maintaining dry, clean floors.
As previously noted, a serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. One other-than-serious violation was cited for failing to report the fatality to OSHA. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Raani Corp., a manufacturer of health-care items, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and household and salon products, employs 150 workers, of which nearly half are temporary day workers. The company was previously inspected by OSHA in 1993, resulting in five serious violations. Raani Corp. had 15 business days from receipt of its current citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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