Williams Olefins fined $99,000 for deadly June explosion

Williams Olefins fined $99,000 for deadly June explosion Williams Olefins has been fined $99,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for six safety violations. The violations spring from an explosion in June at the company’s Geismar, Louisiana Olefins plant that killed two people.

Among the six violations leveled against Williams Olefins by OSHA was “willful violation.” OSHA says this safety violation was cited because the company didn’t provide clear procedures for workers to ready idle pressure valves for service. OSHA says the company did not follow safety procedures for its equipment, specifically that which use large amounts of propylene.

The five other violations include: mixing hot water with propylene; failing to properly document workplace training; failing to provide “pressure protection” for a pressure vessel; and failing to “promptly correct deficiencies” discovered by an internal compliance audit.

Williams plans to restart operations at the plant in 2014. An investigation in the explosion found a rupture in a heat exchanger as the cause of the blast. An expansion on the plant is still planned for next year. The company says that expansion should increase production by 50 percent.

The $99,000 OSHA fine has a 15-day payment deadline. Williams Olefins can also challenge the findings or request an informal conference in that time.

The June 13th explosion killed 29-year-old Zachary C. Green and 47-year-old Scott Thrower. 114 additional people were injured.

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