Chemical manufacturer faces $298K fine for inadequate safeguards after fatal plant explosion 

Nov. 30, 2023
The accident occurred when a pressure valve exploded.

An OSHA investigation has concluded that PolyCarbon Industries Inc./SEQENS SAS could have prevented an explosion that occurred earlier this year. The pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturer failed to have the required safeguards in place, resulting in the death of an employee. The accident occurred when a pressure valve exploded. Investigators determined that the plant’s process safety management program for highly hazardous chemicals for the production and drying of a chemical product called Dekon 139 and for combustible dust hazards was deficient. The company was cited for 11 violations, including eight serious and two repeat and one other-than-serious. These violations included exposing employees to fire and explosion hazards from combustible dust and failing to evaluate the consequences of deviation in the Dekon 139 production process. PolyCarbon Industries Inc./SEQENS SAS faces $298,254 in penalties.  

In a recent quote, OSHA’s Area Director Sarah Carle said, “The requirements of OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard are stringent and comprehensive because failure to comply fully can have a severe or catastrophic impact on employees that, in this case, cost a worker their life. Employers must rigorously, completely and continuously scrutinize, update and maintain each element of the process properly to identify and minimize hazards and protect workers’ safety and health.”