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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday that it cited a global industrial gas manufacturer after several employees sustained serious injuries, including one who was propelled through a wall, following a May explosion.
OSHA cited High Springs, Florida-based Air Liquide Advanced Materials Inc. for willfully exposing workers to fire and explosion hazards by requiring them to use equipment that was unsafe around flammable chemicals and vapors.
The company was also cited for 12 serious violations. OSHA proposed $201,573 in penalties.
The employee who was blown through a wall during the incident was using a heat gun to transfer gas from an aluminum source cylinder to a steel cylinder, OSHA said. He was treated at a trauma center for brain injuries, third-degree burns and underwent a leg amputation.
Four other workers were hospitalized for injuries and numerous first responders were taken to a burn center for treatment of chemical burns.
The facility where the incident took place produces, distills, mixes and transfers diborane, which is a toxic, colorless and pyrophoric gas.
The company has 15 business days to contest the citation and proposed penalties.