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Channahon-based company contests OSHA citations

Published: Friday, March 28, 2014 9:49 p.m. CDT

SPARTA, N.J. – A Channahon-based company’s LP-Gas storage and distribution terminal in New Jersey faces $73,500 in penalties for allegedly exposing workers to hazardous chemical risks.

Diversified CPC International Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 15 violations of the process safety management standard at the chemical manufacturer’s Sparta, N.J., production facility that was inspected in August, according to a news release from OSHA.

“Process safety management programs are designed to prevent the catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals,” Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office, said in the news release. “Diversified CPC International Inc. failed to implement required programs to protect workers from hazardous chemicals.”

But William Frauenheim, vice president of Operations for Diversified CPC, said the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs visited the Sparta facility and found no issues.

“While we respect OSHA, the auditor had no previous knowledge in auditing this type of facility,” he said. “They are treating this facility like a refinery or processing plant, which it is not.”

Frauenheim said the company’s New Jersey facility – which has just four employees – has operated safely for more than 35 years.

Under OSHA’s process safety management standard, employers are required to develop, implement and update process safety management programs for hazardous chemicals at their facilities.

In this case, the majority of violations relate to potential hazards at the company’s facility stemming from the use of liquefied petroleum gases, fluorocarbons and dimethyl ether.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known, according to the news release.

OSHA says the serious violations at this facility include the company’s failure to: develop and implement written procedures for mechanical integrity and operating procedures to conduct activities in each covered process safely; complete a process hazard analysis and emergency action plan; documentation errors including documenting that equipment met good engineering practice and completing an adequate compliance audit, conducting inspections and tests on equipment; and other violations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, according to OSHA’s release.

“We are exercising our right to contest, and we will contest all 15 violations,” Frauenheim said.

“We look forward to having our day at a formal hearing to state our case.”

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