An investigation following the death of one worker and the hospitalization of another results in 12 violations against a manufacturing company. The problem: chemical exposure.
The two workers were exposed to the chemical toluene at Vivid Image’s Theresa, WI, location.
OSHA issued two willful violations to Vivid for:
- workers not wearing respiratory protection while working with toluene in an unventilated area, and
- worker exposure to toluene above the peak level of 500 parts per million.
The company also faces 10 serious violations, including failure to:
- reasonably evaluate toluene air concentrations
- shut off the ventilation system and block an exhaust duct while applying material containing toluene
- develop and implement a written hazard communication program, and
- provide worker training on material hazards.
Fines total $64,600. The company has 15 business days to comply, request a conference with OSHA or contest the findings.
Since two violations were categorized as willful, OSHA placed Vivid in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates follow-up inspections to ensure compliance.