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Bostik to pay $600,000 in fines for safety infractions after explosion


MIDDLETON, Mass.—A Massachusetts adhesive manufacturer will pay $600,000 in fines for numerous safety infractions after a March 2011 explosion that injured four workers.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration initially had sought fines in excess of $917,000 for Middleton, Mass.-based Bostik Inc. after a six-month investigation revealed several violations of the agency’s rules governing the treatment of hazardous chemicals.

In a statement released Thursday, OSHA officials said the agency ultimately reduced the fine amount, in part to expedite the implementation of improved safety practices at Bostik’s plant.

“This resolution speeds corrective action that might otherwise have been delayed through lengthy litigation,” Michael Felsen, regional solicitor for the U.S. Department of Labor in Boston, said in the agency’s statement.

According to the settlement, Bostik has agreed to certain corrective actions to address failures in its chemical safety protocols and to submit proof of those actions to OSHA.

In March 2011, an open valve resulted in the release of flammable acetone vapors, causing the explosion. Bostik since has stopped using acetone in its processing operations.