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December 13, 2012
Release leads to stiff penalties for chemical plant

OSHA has cited Dover Chemical Co. for 47 health and safety violations—including four “willfuls”—in the wake of an unexpected release of hazardous materials at its Dover, Ohio, plant in May. The release led to the temporary shutdown of the facility.

Although no injuries were reported, OSHA opened an investigation focused on its process safety management (PSM) standard. Citations were issued, and proposed penalties total $545,000.

OSHA claims that the release of materials resulted from a breach of a polyvinyl chloride piling system. Due to the nature of the hazard and the willful violations, Dover Chemical has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. It requires targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance.

Agency Administrator Dr. David Michaels said that while he was grateful that nobody was injured, he was “alarmed by the egregious nature of the violations we uncovered during our inspection.”

The facility employs about 175 workers and produces chlorinated paraffins and a variety of product additives. The site has been inspected by OSHA four other times since 2007.

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