Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, a chemical research, production, sales and distribution company, may be looking at federal fines for safety violations, according to the Magnolia Reporter. Inspectors from the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) uncovered 18 safety violations at Great Lakes’ facility in El Dorado, Arkansas. Great Lakes is the largest methyl bromide supplier in the US.
According to reports, the company exposed workers to the unexpected release of bromine, which is extremely hazardous. The inspection was in December of 2011 during OSHA’s Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program, which was launched to reduce workplace hazards involving chemicals. Other related fines cited were Great Lakes' failure to process hazard analyses involved with valves being either closed or locked. The proposed fines from OSHA total $122,000.
“By failing to ensure that safeguards are in place, Great Lakes Chemical puts its workers at risk of exposure to bromine, a highly hazardous chemical that can cause severe burns to the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system,” said Carlos Reynolds, Regional OSHA Director in Little Rock. “Process safety management procedures must be followed to prevent the unexpected release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gasses in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals.”
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