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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

Thionyl Chloride Exposure Leads to Almost Half a Million in Fines

When a workplace handles dangerous chemicals, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that the employers institute additional safety procedures to protect workers from health hazards.

Without these procedures in place, workers can suffer long-term damage from exposure to dangerous substances.

Fontarome Chemical Inc. failed to institute additional safety procedures to protect its workers and was cited for 23 safety and health violations as a result, including $449,680 in penalties. In addition, the company has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Fontarome was sold after OSHA’s initial inspection in December 2013, and now operates under the name Apiscent Labs.

After a fire in 2012, the company refused to address several pressing safety issues, like removing the temporary wiring that was installed after the fire, and providing ventilation for emissions. The company was also cited for failing to properly fit employees to wear full and half face respirators.

Several of the violations stemmed from the company’s refusal to establish safe operating procedures for employees handling thionyl chloride, an ingredient in pharmaceutical, flavor and fragrance products. Thionyl chloride is classified as a hazardous chemical, and improper exposure can put workers at risk for eye, skin and respiratory issues.

Apiscent Labs also faced 15 serious violations for a range of offenses, including violations of forklift safety rules, lockout/tagout procedures and training regulations to teach employees how to avoid skin and respiratory contact with thionyl chloride.

I Was Injured On the Job! What Are My Legal Options?

By failing to follow OSHA regulations, Apiscent Labs (formerly Fontarome Chemical Inc.) put its workers at risk for skin, eye and respiratory damage if they handle the chemical improperly. These can be serious injuries that require extensive recovery time and financial resources. Do not let your employer’s negligence affect your health. To discuss your workers comp claim, call Larrimer & Larrimer today.

Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys


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