Bostik Fines – Following up on Audit Recommendations MATTERS!

BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Bostik Inc. for 50 alleged violations of workplace safety standards following a March 13 explosion at the company’s Middleton plant in which four workers were injured. The adhesives manufacturer faces a total of $917,000 in proposed fines.

OSHA’s inspection identified several serious deficiencies in the company’s process safety management program, a detailed set of requirements and procedures employers must follow to proactively address hazards associated with processes and equipment that involve large amounts of hazardous chemicals…

…”In this case, Bostik knew from prior third party and internal compliance audits conducted at the plant that aspects of its PSM program were incomplete or inadequate, and misclassified electrical equipment was in use. The company did not take adequate steps to address those conditions” OSHA

Do YOU have open recommendations from previous compliance audits, PHA’s, Incident Investigations or other sources?

The ventilation system in your compressor room is likely using the ANSI/ASHRAE 15 exception to the NEC. What this means is that as long as your ventilation system conforms to ANSI/ASHRAE 15 you do not need to classify your engine room as a Class 1 Division 2 space – so you don’t need explosion proof electronics. If your ventilation system does NOT conform to ANSI/ASHRAE 15 then you do have to have all your electronics classified for a Class 1 Division 2 space.

If you look at the first portion of the actual citation in this case you will find that there is $350,000 worth of fines for incorrectly classified electrical equipment. There is plenty more to learn from this document; some highlights include:

  • Using non-classified radios and cellphones in classified spaces
  • Lack of training for the Hazmat Team
  • Emergency Response Plan was inadequate
  • Lack of training on Respirators and other Response Gear

We’ll take a look at the second section of the fines in another post.

About Brian Chapin

PSM / RMP Compliance Consultant
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