OSHA just recently announced that DuPont, well-known chemical giant, has
been found to be in violation of numerous regulations, including ones
that led to the death of four workers within their La Porte plant last
November. It was one of the most deadly and massive gas releases that
has occurred in the last 10 years, resulting in a leak of an estimated
23,000 pounds of toxic methyl mercaptan from one of their pesticide units.
It also cost four workers their lives, as two were killed from a leak
into the building and two others killed when the attempted to rescue them.
OSHA Has Harsh Words for DuPont
While OSHA had already begun an investigation into the plant following
the accident last November, they added another $273,000 to the original
proposed penalties of $99,000 after assessing the information from the
additional inspection that took place in January. The inspection found
DuPont to be blatantly violating multiple safety regulations in their
massive La Porte plant that contains stores of hazardous toxics. According
to reports, the La Porte accident facility had multiple design and safety
issues that frequently exposed workers to these toxic fumes, endangering
lives long before the tragic November plant accident resulted in four
“DuPont promotes itself as having a ‘world-class safety’
culture and even markets its safety expertise to other employers, but
these four preventable workplace deaths and the very serious hazards we
uncovered at this facility are evidence of a failed safety program,”
were the hard words the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA had for
the chemical company. It is clear that OSHA is seeking to take a clear
stand against the repeated violations of DuPont.
DuPont Facility Placed in Violator Program
With a facility being placed in the “Severe Violator Enforcement
Program,” DuPont has some serious hills to climb in order to revamp
their safety protocols and get back on track with putting their workers’
wellbeing first. In the meantime, they will be under the harsh scrutiny
of OSHA officials.
Currently, OSHA has several open inspections on multiple DuPont plants
and will continue to hold these large companies accountable for workplace
safety violations. OSHA is striving to send a strong message to DuPont
and similar giants, exposing their broken safety culture and seeking to
enforce proper steps to ensure workers aren’t hurt in the future.