Safety Fines for CT Chemical Maker

Monday, February 1, 2016 @ 02:02 PM gHale

Phoenix Products Co. in Terryville, Connecticut, is facing $61,600 in fines for 15 serious safety violations, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA inspectors found workers at Phoenix Products, a manufacturer of swimming pool chemicals and acetone preparations used in nail polish, suffered exposure to chemical, fire and exit access hazards.

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The company’s manufacturing processes use large amounts of the flammable chemicals acetone and isopropyl alcohol 99 percent. OSHA standards require a workplace to have a program for safely managing processes involving large amounts of these chemicals. The plant lacked a process safety management program.

Deficiencies included:
• Not conducting a hazard analysis
• Having no written operating procedures for each step of the process
• Not compiling information about process equipment
• Not inspecting and testing process equipment
• Not documenting employee training
• Lacking an emergency action program

Additional chemical and fire hazards involved a locked emergency exit gate, an exit route through a hazardous area, rusted exit stairs, lack of overflow protection for storage tanks, deficient vent piping and not documenting that storage tanks had been strength tested.

“Work involving large amounts of highly hazardous chemicals requires that the employer analyze, document and provide safeguards to prevent the possibility of an explosion or uncontrolled release of these chemicals,” said Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford. “The deficient safeguards at this plant increase employees’ risk of sustaining serious, even life-threatening burns. Phoenix Products needs to effectively and expeditiously correct these deficiencies to minimize and prevent a catastrophic incident.”