The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Croda Inc. after a chemical release at the New Castle-based manufacturing plant exposed workers to ethylene oxide. The company faces $262,548 in penalties.
“This incident could have been prevented if the employer had taken appropriate precautions,” said Wilmington Area OSHA Director Erin G. Patterson. “By failing to follow well-known safety and health procedures, and provide training, they risked the health of their workers.”
The inspection started following the hospitalization of one employee and five others who suffered symptoms of ethylene oxide (EtO) exposure. The agency cited Croda Inc. for 25 serious violations, including deficient emergency action and response plans; failure to train employees on how to manage EtO leaks; and the use of fire protection, water deluge systems, and emergency shutdown procedures. The company also failed to develop procedures for emergency responders to manage firewater amid an EtO release, activate the emergency alarm system, and provide employees with respiratory protection.
Croda has since requested an informal conference with OSHA to work out a settlement.