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R L Carriers Shared Services Inc., hit with nearly $87,000 in fines

Chemical spills can cause catastrophic explosions for employees and work sites.

Chemical spills can cause catastrophic explosions for employees and work sites.

Freight shipping employees in Wallingford, Connecticut, were exposed to dangerous chemical, explosion and fire hazards, said an OSHA regional news release. R L Carriers Shared Service LLC., was fined $86,900 for two repeat and four serious violations stemming from an October 2014 incident. 

The New Haven Register stated that the accident involved a highly flammable and explosive tetrahydrofuran spill spouting from a punctured barrel. A forklift hit the barrel as it was being moved from one truck to another.

The responding employees were not trained for such a spill, noted ABC's WTNH News 8. Although they did respond with absorbents and securing the spill site, they were never explicitly instructed in how to deal with spills, chemical or other. Management as a whole had no clear emergency plan in place if an incident like this did occur.

OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard requires:

  • Chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate hazards of chemicals and prepare safety data and labels.
  • Employers train employees, especially first responders, in handling the chemicals, protecting themselves and understanding risk of exposure.

Hazards associated with tetrahydrofuran were not evaluated, responders had no respiratory protection during cleanup and the forklift that caused the leak was incorrectly operated at the time, according to OSHA.

The potential explosion included repeat violations previously seen at a Chicago worksite in 2011, said NBC Connecticut. 

Hazard communication and proper respiratory protection are two of the top 10 most cited OSHA compliance infractions. OSHA's Bridgeport area director Robert Kowalski stated R L's greatest safety violation was no one knowing exactly how to clean the spill, reported the news source.

R L Carriers has work sites nationwide and employs about 9,000 employees. 

To learn more about SyberWorks services, OSHA infractions or to schedule a product demonstration, please call us at 888-642-7078, email us at info@syberworks.com or register on our site.

SyberWorks, Inc.
411 Waverley Oaks Road
Building 3, Suite 319
Waltham, MA 02452

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