Flash Fires Lead to Safety Inspections

Friday, August 19, 2016 @ 03:08 PM gHale


National Manufacturing Co. Inc. is facing $56,300 in fines for 10 serious safety violations at its Chatham, NJ, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Borough of Chatham officials alerted OSHA after a flash fire burned an employee as the worker cleaned a degreasing tank at National Manufacturing on Jan. 29.

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OSHA initiated a safety inspection Feb. 1 and it then opened a health inspection Feb. 18 to evaluate chemical related health hazards after the safety inspection revealed the company’s use of N-Propyl Bromide, also known as 1-Bromopropane, a chemical used to degrease metals, plastics and electronic and optical components.

Inspectors identified multiple workplace safety violations. They found the company:
• Exposed employees to hazards related to N-Propyl Bromide
• Failed to provide fall protection for workers exposed to falls up to 7 feet
• Allowed electrical and housekeeping hazards
• Failed to medically evaluate and fit test employees using respirators

“National Manufacturing Co. put workers in harm’s way by not properly controlling chemical hazards at its facility in Chatham,” said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office. “We found the company’s lack of effective hazard management relating to its degreasing system directly resulted in flash fires on Jan. 29 and Feb. 9, 2016, just 11 days apart. This company must do what’s right to protect its workers and provide a safe and healthy workplace.”