NJ Gas Workers Exposed to Hazards: OSHA

Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 03:05 PM gHale

Industrial gas manufacturer Welco Acetylene Corp. is facing $57,400 in fines for five safety and health violations at its Newark, NJ, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA initiated an inspection Nov. 21 as a follow-up to its May 30, 2013, inspection.

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Investigators ended up issuing Welco Acetylene two failure-to-abate notices for hazards for which the employer had received previous citations: Not maintaining process equipment and not adequately addressing the potential impact of a vapor cloud explosion on an occupied temporary trailer.

In addition, OSHA found two repeat violations involving workers performing service on a compressor without placing a device on it to prevent the sudden startup or movement of equipment during service and maintenance, a procedure known as lockout/tagout. The company also did not ensure the written process safety information included all the necessary information pertaining to the equipment.

One serious violation also ended up issued for not conducting management of change reviews as required.

“Acetylene gas is highly flammable and if released, could cause fire and explosion hazards,” said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office. “The violations found during the follow-up inspection, and the ones the company failed to abate, create a hazardous environment to the employees working at the plant and should be immediately corrected.”

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