Employee Suffers Chemical Burns, Tenn. Company Cited

OSHA cited Bulkmatic Transport Co. and proposed penalties totaling\r\n$59,000 following an inspection prompted by an accident at the\r\ncompany's Chattanooga, Tenn., bulk transfer terminal.

OSHA cited Bulkmatic Transport Co. and proposed penalties totaling $59,000 following an inspection prompted by an accident at the company''s Chattanooga, Tenn., bulk transfer terminal.

On Jan. 3, a company employee was transferring sulfuric acid from a railroad car into a tanker truck when the hose connection failed. He was sprayed with the acid, causing chemical burns over fifty percent of his body.

"This company had been cited before for exposing employees to hazardous chemicals," said Roberto Sanchez, Nashville''s acting area director for OSHA. "The injured employee was not outfitted with proper personal protective equipment and the employee responding to the accident did not receive adequate emergency response training."

The Griffith, Indiana-based company employs 1200 workers nationwide. Four employees were involved in the terminal operation at the accident site.

The company was cited for two repeat violations with proposed penalties totaling $25,000 for failing to implement a respiratory protection program, including proper employee medical evaluations, respirator fit-testing and training.

Nationwide, OSHA has inspected Bulkmatic Transport Company eight times.

Two inspections found respiratory protection violations. A repeat violation occurs when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA also issued six serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $33,000 for failing to:

  • install proper adapters and connections for the material being transferred;
  • fully develop an emergency response plan;
  • provide readily available emergency eye wash and shower facilities;
  • assure that employees wore eye and face protection;
  • provide employee training in the proper use of respirators, and
  • supply NIOSH-certified respirators.

A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard. An additional $1,000 penalty was proposed for not properly maintaining an injury and illness log and for not having an up-to-date copy on site.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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