Bayer faces $89,000 fine for alleged violations at Baytown plant

18 July 2013 17:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US workplace regulator has proposed fining Bayer MaterialScience $89,000 (€68,000) for four safety violations at its Baytown plant in Texas, the agency said on Thursday.

The company was cited for allegedly failing to protect workers from methylenedianiline (MDA), said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

MDA is used to make methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI), among other products, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), another US regulator.

OSHA proposed the fine following an inspection, which began in January after the regulator received a complaint, it said.

In one violation, OSHA had accused Bayer of failing to establish regulated areas where workers' skin could be exposed to MDA, it said. Also, OSHA alleged that Bayer failed to establish a procedure under which workers would be alerted about possible exposure to MDA during a release of the material.

Also, OSHA accused Bayer of failing to implement portions of an emergency plan that addressed when MDA escaped from containment.

OSHA also alleged that Bayer did not ensure that workers wore appropriate clothing and used the right equipment to prevent contact with MDA.

Finally, Bayer did not start a programme that would check for spills of MDA, OSHA alleged.

After the company receives the citations, it has 15 days to respond, OSHA said. Bayer can pay the fine, request a meeting with the regulator or challenge the findings.

Bayer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Al Greenwood
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