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Paint Firm Fined $136K in Vapor Release

Monday, September 24, 2012

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An Ohio paint producer is facing 26 federal health violations and a $138,600 fine in the March release of a cloud of flammable vapors at its industrial coatings division in Columbus.

All but one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration citations against Yenkin-Majestic Paint Corp. are serious, reflecting a life-threatening hazard. The release occurred at Yenkin-Majestic’s OPC Polymers facility on March 21.

 Founded in 1920, Yenkin-Majestic is one of the nation’s largest, independent industrial coatings manufacturers.

 Yenkin-Majestic

Founded in 1920, Yenkin-Majestic is one of the nation’s largest, independent industrial coatings manufacturers. The polymer production and coatings manufacturing operation occupies a 400,000-square-foot facility in Columbus, OH.

“We received the documents from OSHA, will work to clarify them, and will work to improve compliance with the requirements, most of which were related to the use of documents,” Mark Hollinger, senior vice president of operations with OPC Polymers, said in a statement.

Polymer Reaction and Process Safety

According to OSHA, the vapor cloud was caused by a copolymer reaction of flammable chemicals when over-pressurization occurred in the equipment. No injuries were reported.

The 25 serious violations relate to Process Safety Management (PSM) standards, which are designed to prevent unexpected releases of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases. The standards detail requirements for managing hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals.

In November 2011, OSHA launched a National Emphasis Program for chemical facilities covered by the PSM standards.

Serious Violations

The serious violations accuse the company of incomplete process safety information, citing multiple instances in which systems lacked maximum intended inventories, accurate piping and instrument diagrams, or design codes and standards.

Other violations include failure to:

• Address hazards of the process consequences to engineering and administrative control failures;

• Implement written operation procedures and review and certify them annually;

• Train workers on procedures;

• Establish and implement written mechanical integrity and management of change procedures;

• Conduct a compliance audit every three years; and

• Respond to deficiencies found in compliance audits.

Training, Procedures Criticized

“Employers must provide safe working conditions, especially for employees who work with highly hazardous chemicals,” said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director in Columbus. “It is clear that OPC Polymers failed to create safety procedures, and did not train and review procedures with employees to ensure their effectiveness.”

One other-than-serious violation was issued for failure to certify the completion of a personal protective equipment hazard assessment.

Founded in 1920, Yenkin-Majestic is one of the largest, independent industrial coatings manufacturers and distributors in the U.S. OPC Polymers employs about 190 people at the facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply with the citations or contest the case.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Coatings manufacturers; Coatings technology; Health and safety; OSHA; Polymers; Raw materials

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