Biodiesel Maker Faces Safety Fines

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 @ 03:02 PM gHale

Biodiesel manufacturer Sanimax Inc. is facing a fine of $76,500 for 13 safety violations at its De Forest, WI, facility, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials said.

“Failing to follow process safety management procedures to reduce workers’ exposure to the unexpected release of hazardous chemicals is unacceptable,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s area director in Madison.

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Twelve serious violations of the PSM standard involve failing to have adequate information concerning the technologies of the process, such as safe upper and lower limits for temperature, pressures, flows and compositions; develop and implement written operating procedures; document that equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; correct deficiencies in the process hazard analysis; perform inspections and tests on process equipment; document fire protection requirements prior to beginning hot work operations; implement procedures for management of change; ensure employees covered under emergency response operations were adequately trained; conduct a process hazard analysis on the hydrogen storage and transfer unit; ensure written operating procedures covered abnormal operating situations; record required equipment inspections and conduct testing at required intervals; take action to correct deficiencies noted during equipment inspections; conduct a management of change analysis when required; and respond to deficiencies noted in an audit.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

One other-then-serious violation was failing to develop a written plan of action for employee participation in the process safety management of the biodiesel process. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Sanimax, which has multiple locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, reclaims materials such as animal byproducts and used cooking oils for goods including tallow, glycerin, proteins, leather and biofuels.

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