The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited TPC Group LLC for exposing employees to workplace safety and health hazards after a fire and explosion at the Port Neches, Texas, plant in November 2019. The company faces $514,692 in fines.
OSHA opened an investigation after vapor formed at the base of a butadiene finishing tower ignited and caused several explosions and fires. OSHA cited TPC for three willful violations for failing to develop and implement procedures for emergency shutdown, and inspect and test process vessel and piping components.
“Employers are required to conduct regular inspections and address potential hazardous conditions associated with chemical processes to prevent catastrophic events from occurring,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “OSHA has extensive resources available to help employers and workers understand requirements for process safety management.”
OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on safely managing releases of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citation and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.