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Chemical company cited in fatal workplace explosion


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Thursday that it cited a Massachusetts pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturer and its parent company following a fatal explosion.

OSHA cited Newburyport-based PolyCarbon Industries Inc. and parent company SEQENS SAS after a worker was killed in May when a pressure vessel exploded during a process to produce and dry the chemical product Dekon 139.

OSHA cited the company for eight serious violations, two repeat violations and one other-than-serious violation and proposed $298,254 in penalties.

SEQENS SAS, which operates 24 manufacturing plants and three research and development centers in North America, Europe and Asia, failed to ensure that PolyCarbon had proper safeguards in place during the chemical manufacturing process, OSHA said.

The company has 15 business days to contest the citation and proposed penalties.