Formosa Plastics Corp. USA is facing a fine of more than $130,000 for alleged safety and health hazards at its PVC resin plant in Delaware City, Del.
A recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation found 27 alleged serious workplace safety and health violations, according to a March 31 news release from Washington-based OSHA. The investigation was begun in October after OSHA received a complaint from an employee at the site, which produces dispersion PVC and employs about 100.
The total amount of the proposed fine is $133,500. Alleged violations include a failure to properly contain PVC dust particles and failure to provide employees with an infirmary, clinic or person trained in first aid. Other alleged hazards include lack of machine guarding and unguarded floor holes and walkways.
It is imperative that the company eliminate the combustible dust hazards, along with the other violations cited, to protect employees at this facility, OSHA's Domenick Salvatore said in the release. Salvatore is director of the OSHA office in Wilmington, Del.
Officials at the Delaware City plant said in an April 1 statement that they are reviewing the notice to determine whether to challenge its findings and proposed penalties.
The plant strives to maintain a safe workplace at all times, and places safety and environmental compliance as its first priority, they said.
Livingston, N.J.-based Formosa has a history of regulatory and safety issues at its other North American sites. In October, the firm agreed to spend more than $10 million on pollution controls to address air, water and hazardous waste violations at plants in Point Comfort, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La.
At that time, Formosa also agreed to pay a civil penalty of almost $3 million to resolve several alleged environmental violations at the two sites.
In 2007, the federal Chemical Safety Board ruled that Formosa and Borden Chemicals and Plastics LP didn't do enough to prevent human error that caused a fatal explosion at a PVC plant in Illiopolis, Ill. Five workers were killed in that 2004 incident. Borden owned the plant before selling it to Formosa in 2002.
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