Government Supply Warehouse Cited Following Chemical Spill

OSHA cited the U.S. General Services Administration for violation of OSHA standards in a warehouse in Burlington, N.J.

According to OSHA area director Gary Roskoski, the action results from an investigation conducted from Aug. 17, 1999 to Feb. 17, 2000 at the federal government supply warehouse.

OSHA compliance officers went to the warehouse after receiving reports from news media of a chemical spill.

Their investigation disclosed that a quantity of approximately 1,800 pounds of calcium hypochlorite powder, used to chlorinate swimming pools, was spilled on the warehouse floor.

Cleanup activities resulted in 27 employees' being treated for chlorine exposure at a local hospital.

OSHA said that the agency violated OSHA's emergency response standard by failing to develop and implement an emergency response plan and to train employees required to assist in containment and cleanup.

The warehouse was also cited for failing to conduct an employee exposure assessment, provide respirators and chemical safety goggles.

The agency faces a possible fine totaling $112,500 for the violations.

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