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Innovia Films slapped with $112k fine after 19 safety violations

By Joe Whitworth+

06-Feb-2014
Last updated on 06-Feb-2014 at 12:36 GMT

Innovia Films has been cited for 19 safety violations including exposing workers to flammable chemicals.

A US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection in July 2013 was undertaken as part of the Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program.

The majority of violations relate to potential flammable hazards from the use of carbon disulfide, tetrahydrofuran and toluene processes.

OSHA has proposed penalties of $112,500 after the inspection at the firm’s Tecumseh facility.

Innovia response

An Innovia spokeswoman told FoodQualityNews.com that it considers the health and safety of employees at work to be of the greatest importance.

“Further, we are committed to continual improvements in safety performance and to compliance with all our legal obligations,” she said.

“We have cooperated fully with the OSHA audit and are already in the process of implementing a series of improvements.

“We will continue to work closely with OSHA to assure our remediation efforts comply with applicable regulations.”

Process safety management are requirements and procedures employers must follow to address hazards with processes and equipment that use large quantities of hazardous chemicals.

The inspection found employees were exposed to health and safety hazards because the company lacked an appropriate program.

Innovia Films employs about 185 workers at its Tecumseh plant and 1,350 worldwide.

The company is based in Wigton, UK and has US headquarters in Atlanta, with offices in Belgium and Australia.

Serious violations

17 serious violations cited include failing to update and complete a process hazard analysis; resolve previous process hazard analysis action items; and implement a management-of-change program and provide training for the process safety management manual.

The other two serious violations involve exposing workers to fall hazards and failure to provide personal protective equipment.

"Process safety management programs are designed to prevent the catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals," said Judy Freeman, OSHA's area director in Wichita.

"The plant needs to ensure all equipment and new installations receive the proper evaluation and scrutiny before utilizing highly hazardous chemicals in the manufacturing process."

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