Fatal spill brings $91,000 fine

South Carolina regulators have fined a Pennsylvania company $91,000 for a string of emergency preparedness failures they say occurred before a fatal chemical leak near its Swansea plant last year.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control says the wrong type of hose was used at Tanner Industries Inc. to transfer ammonia at the company’s plant. On July 15, 2009, a hose linking the Tanner facility to a transfer truck failed and spilled nearly 7,000 pounds of poisonous ammonia gas into the skies along U.S. 321, according to agency records.

Last year’s leak killed Jacqueline Ginyard, a 38-year-old motorist whose car was enveloped in a toxic cloud as she drove to work at about 8 a.m.

Sun News

It appears it was as simple as using the wrong hose for the job. Tragic and avoidable.

Make sure your charging SOP defines who has the responsibility to ensure the proper hose is used and that it is inspected before use. You should also have an annual (or more frequent if you use them a lot ) work order to check all ammonia hoses for needed replacement.

About Brian Chapin

PSM / RMP Compliance Consultant
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