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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing a combined $43,458 in penalties against Tampa Electric Co. and Critical Intervention Services following a release of a chemical refrigerant.
OSHA determined that “the ammonia release occurred when a relief valve activated after a pipeline became over pressurized,” after responding to an incident at Tampa Electric’s Gibsonton, Florida-based facility in May 2017. Four workers were taken to the hospital for observation and released, the department said in a Friday statement. The electric company is facing a proposed fine of $18,108 for the serious violations, according to the citations.
The investigation also led to citations for Largo, Florida-based security services provider Critical Intervention Services, which received two serious violations “for not developing or implementing a written hazard communication program and failing to provide information and training on hazardous chemicals in the workplace,” OSHA said in the statement. The company is facing $25,350 in proposed penalties for the serious violations.
“When there is a potential hazardous chemical exposure, the emergency response plan must include all of the minimum safety and health requirements, including appropriate respiratory protection for employees,” Les Grove, Tampa, Florida-based OSHA area director, said in the statement.
Representatives from Tampa Electric Co. and Critical Intervention Services could not be immediately reached for comment.
An administrative law judge of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has vacated a serious citation and a proposed $6,234 penalty against an Ohio employer due to the U.S. Department of Labor’s failure to prove the employer violated the cited standard.