Health and Safety

September 20, 2010

Fire at Warehouse Containing HAZMATS

Acknowledgement to Great American

A fire occurred in the middle of the night at a warehouse facility. Responders to the fire discovered heavy smoke settling over a nearby residential community. It was determined that various hazardous materials were stored in the warehouse and that vapors from the fire could present a health hazard. Residents were advised to stay in their homes. Hazmat responders set up containment to capture runoff from the fire suppression water and to conduct air monitoring. After the fire was extinguished, testing revealed that contamination was present in the soils beneath and around the warehouse as a result of the contaminated fire suppression water. Further investigation and subsequent clean-up activities were required. Several claims alleging bodily injury due to inhalation of toxic fumes from the fire were also filed by nearby residents. The warehouse owner also incurred additional expenses associated with the defense and settlement.…

July 27, 2010

OSHA Proposes $121K Fine for Chemical Company

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing to fine a chemical company $121,500 for a toxic leak that led to an acid cloud forcing hundreds of western Pennsylvania residents to evacuate. OSHA reports that the company committed 27 serious safety violations when 3,300 pounds of oleum leaked when a transfer tank overflowed because its internal pumps were connected to an electrical outlet that was not equipped with an automatic shutoff. The resulting sulfuric acid cloud forced 2,500 people from their homes for a day. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection also investigated. They are close to settling with the company on $38,000 in state fines for violating laws pertaining to chemical storage tanks and air pollution.…