Resin manufacturer fined $171,884 for exposing workers to respiratory hazards

May 26, 2023
After an investigation, OSHA concluded that Sumitomo Bakelite North American Inc has not been properly protecting its employees from the potential dangers of chemical exposure.

After an investigation, OSHA concluded that Sumitomo Bakelite North American Inc has not been properly protecting its employees from the potential dangers of chemical exposure. The resin manufacturer, operating as Durez Corp. in Kenton, Ohio, was cited for similar violations in 2019. According to OSHA, the company did not “prevent resin accumulations from exposing control room workers to respiratory and fire hazards.” This accumulation could ultimately lead to a plant explosion if the flammable vapors ignite, an outcome that could easily happen in plastic resin manufacturing given the high heat necessary during production. OSHA cited the manufacturer for one willful violation and one serious citation. The company is facing $171,884 in fines.

In a recent quote, OSHA Area Director Todd Jensen said, "Durez Corp. knowingly failed to develop and implement safeguards to protect employees from toxic gas releases, explosions from process equipment, and use good housekeeping procedures to protect its employees from potential combustible resin fires. This company must make safety as important as profit before employees are sickened or tragedy occurs."

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