Chemical Maker Fined after Blast

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 @ 03:04 PM gHale


Custom chemical provider, Magnablend, is facing $45,000 in proposed fines for seven safety and health violations following last fall’s massive fire at their blending plant in Waxahachie, TX, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials said.

OSHA “found that employees were exposed to fire hazards due to inadequate ventilation, which can create an accumulation of flammable vapors that lead to a fire or explosion.”

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“The violations are failing to conduct a hazard assessment, install a sufficient ventilation system, train workers in specific hazardous chemical protection procedures, evaluate respiratory inhalation hazards, ensure that the fire sprinkler system was adequate, use electrical equipment in accordance with its labeling, document the classification of hazardous locations for electrical purposes and ensure that electrical equipment was considered safe for the location where it was used.”

A serious violation occurs when there is a high probability that a known, or should be known, hazard could lead to death or serious injury of workers.

“Magnablend exposed its workers to fire hazards by failing to provide adequate ventilation that would have removed flammable hydrogen and other vapors,” said Jack Rector, OSHA’s area director in Fort Worth. “OSHA’s standards must be followed to prevent injuries and illnesses. It is fortunate that no one was injured.”

The fire at the plant on Oct. 3, 2011, destroyed the Waxahachie facility. The company said last November the fire started when the production of a wastewater treatment product caused excessive steam and there was a spark near by.

Last month, Magnablend said they purchased more land in Ellis County and planned to expand their operations on the site of the now-defunct Superconducting Super Collider.



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