OSHA · OSHA Chemical Safety

Sodium Chlorite Explosion Kills 1, Injures Others – Lawsuit Filed & OSHA Penalties

Cresson, TX – In March of 2018, the extremely hazardous chemical Sodium Chlorite (NaCIO2) was the cause of a deadly explosion at a Tri-Chem Specialty Chemicals LLC facility, killing one and injuring two others.

Multiple safety violations were filed against Tri-Chem Specialty Chemicals LLC following OSHA’s investigations into the incident. The family of the deceased employee has filed a lawsuit against Tri-Chem Specialty Chemicals LLC claiming negligent training and inaccurate labeling contributed to the lack of risk communication of the Sodium Chlorite.

Tri-Chem Specialty Chemicals LLC were fined by OSHA in excess of $25,000 for various violations, including hazard communication. The blast was caused by an electrical issue that caught an employee on fire, who then fell into a vat of sodium chlorite. The use of flammable materials (cardboard, etc.) should not have been used in the presence of the chemical.

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This incident that took the life of an employee, and injured two others, is a tragic example of the importance of workplace safety. Hazard communication, all though not the only factor that contributed to this incident, it did play a part. If the employees were properly trained on the handling of the chemicals, this potentially could have been avoided.

Hazard communication violations are consistently the second most common penalty, year over year. Proper training and clear hazard identification is a vital component of workplace safety.

Safety Labels Save Lives.

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