OSHA investigation finds candy manufacturer failed to evacuate employees prior to gas leak explosion

Oct. 18, 2023
Several employees who worked at the Pennsylvania candy manufacturing plant smelled gas and raised concerns, but no evacuation happened.

An OSHA investigation has determined that R.M. Palmer Co. failed to evacuate employees prior to a plant explosion in March. Several employees who worked at the Pennsylvania candy manufacturing plant smelled gas and raised concerns, but no evacuation happened. Several employees were killed in the explosion. R.M. Palmer was cited by OSHA under its general duty clause for not evacuating workers. In addition, the candy company was cited for not marking emergency exit signs clearly, using flexible cords improperly and for recordkeeping violations.

In a recent quote, OSHA Area Director Kevin T. Chambers said, “Seven workers will never return home because the R.M. Palmer Co. did not evacuate the facility after being told of a suspected gas leak. Ensuring the safety of a workplace is expected of employers and required by law. The company could have prevented this horrific tragedy by following required safety procedures.”