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OSHA Enforcement

OSHA Proposes $148,700 in Penalties Against Plastics Manufacturer

OSHA is citing Formosa Plastics Corp. USA for alleged repeat and serious safety and health violations at the company’s Delaware City, Del., location, with proposed fines totaling $148,700.

OSHA has proposed $148,700 in penalties against Formosa Plastics Corp.’s Delaware City, Del., site for alleged repeat and serious safety violations surrounding failure to perform process equipment inspections and tests, electrical hazards, a deficient process safety management program and more.

Formosa Plastics Corp. USA, headquartered in Livingston, N.J., employs 107 workers at its Delaware City site. OSHA’s most recent investigation served as a follow-up to two October 2009 inspections, when violations initially were revealed.

In all, OSHA is citing the company with 16 violations: two repeat violations, with $66,000 in penalties, and 14 serious violations carrying $82,700 in penalties. The repeat violations involve a failure to perform process equipment inspections and tests, inspect critical valves and ensure that PVC dust did not accumulate on surfaces and the floor of a bagging area. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last 5 years. According to OSHA, the same violation was cited at this company following a separate investigation in March 2010.

The company’s serious violations include electrical hazards, a deficient process safety management program, incomplete emergency shutdown procedures, no machine guarding, a lack of training for workers participating in emergency response and failing to periodically evaluate contractor performance.

Steve Rice, senior manager of communications at Formosa Plastics Corp., confirmed that the company received notice of OSHA’s violations on Sept. 13 and is currently in the process of reviewing the citations. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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