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February 1, 2016

OSHA seeks $61K fine against Plymouth company

The Hartford Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Phoenix Products Co. of the Terryville section of Plymouth for 15 serious violations of workplace safety standards, alleging they exposed workers to chemical, fire and other hazards. It is seeking a proposed fine of $61,600.

An OSHA investigation found the company, a manufacturer of swimming pool chemicals and acetone preparations used in nail polish, exposed employees to chemical, fire and exit access hazards. Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford, said, “Phoenix Products needs to effectively and expeditiously correct these deficiencies to minimize and prevent a catastrophic incident.”

Phoenix Products did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Monday.

According to an OSHA statement, the company’s manufacturing processes use large amounts of the flammable chemicals acetone and isopropyl alcohol. OSHA standards require a workplace to have a program for safely managing processes involving large amounts of these chemicals. Phoenix Products lacked one, the agency said.

Among the other deficiencies, according to OSHA, were:

  • Not conducting a hazard analysis;
  • Having no written operating procedures for each step of the process;
  • Not compiling information about process equipment;
  • Not inspecting and testing process equipment;
  • Not documenting employee training; and
  • Lacking an emergency action program.

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