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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 28, 2015

NJ company cited by OSHA for willfully exposing workers to diacetyl


A Somerset County New Jersey flavoring and fragrance manufacturer exposed workers to respiratory and other workplace safety and health hazards. These exposures have created a new wave of occupation litigation by injured workers and their families.


The company, Symrise Inc., a flavoring and fragrance manufacturer, is located at 172 Industrial Parkway in Branchburg, New Jersey.


On Dec. 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for two willful and ten serious violations. Proposed penalties: $122,000

OSHA initiated an inspection on June 2, 2015, after being notified of an employee injury. Citations were issued for willful violations related to hazards associated with exposure to diacetyl, a chemical linked to respiratory illnesses including organ damage. Serious violations were cited for hazards related to confined space, including failure to evaluate the workplace to determine if any spaces were permit-required confined space and failure to develop and implement a written permit-required space program. Other serious violations included the lack of program procedures related to preventing the sudden startup or movement of equipment during service and maintenance, a procedure known as lockout/tagout; employee exposure to flammable liquids; and exposure to open-sided work platforms without railings.

"When employees are exposed to certain airborne flavorings like diacetyl, they are more likely to develop respiratory symptoms such as cough, fatigue, and difficulty breathing with exertion or exercise," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office. "Symrise is putting its employees at risk of long-term, chronic illness by not taking the right steps to provide protection from this hazard. Employers have a legal obligation to ensure workers have a safe and healthy workplace, and will be held accountable when they fail to do so."
Symrise Inc.'s workers' compensation insurer is MEMIC, located in Portland, Maine.

Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.
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OSHA Citation

Citation 2 Item 1 b Type of Violation: Willful

29 CFR 1910.134(d)(3)(i)(B)(l): The employer did not select a respirator for employee use that maintained the employee's exposure to the hazardous substance, when measured outside the respirator, at or below the maximum use concentration :

Symrise Inc./Branchburg, NJ Site Flavor Production Area:

1) On July 14, 2015 a compounder handling Diacetyl during Cocoa Flavor formulation was exposed to Diacetyl at a level of 31.8678 parts per million (ppm) as a 15 minute Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL). This exposure exceeded the 0.020 ppm STEL established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) for exposure to Diacetyl by 1593 times. This exposure also exceeded the 1 ppm Maximum Use Concentration (MUC) of the employees Full-face air-purifying respirator by 31.8678 times, exposing the employee to the hazard of severe lung disease and obstruction of lung airways.

2) On July 14, 2015 a compounder handling Diacetyl during Cocoa Flavor formulation was exposed to Diacetyl at a level of 1.0398 parts per million (ppm) as an 8-hour TWA (zero exposures were assumed for unsampled time). This exposure exceeded the 0.010 ppm TWA established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) for exposure to Diacetyl by 103 times. This exposure also exceeded the 0.5 ppm Maximum Use Concentration (MUC) of the employees Full­ face air-purifying respirator by 2.0796 times, exposing the employee to the hazard of severe lung disease and obstruction of lung airways.

3) On August 6, 2015 a compounder handling Diacetyl during Butter Flavor formulation was exposed to Diacetyl at a level of 20.2789 parts per million (ppm) as a 15 minute Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL). This exposure exceeded the 0.020 ppm STEL established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) for exposure to Diacetyl by 1013 times. This exposure also exceeded the 1 ppm Maximum Use Concentration (MUC) of the employees Full-face air-purifying respirator by 20.2789 times, exposing the employee to the hazard of severe lung disease and obstruction of lung airways.

4) On August 6, 2015 a compounder handling Diacetyl during Butter Flavor formulation was exposed to Diacetyl at a level of 80.l 006 parts per million (ppm) as a 15 minute Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL). This exposure exceeded the 0.020 ppm STEL established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) for exposure to Diacetyl by 4005 times. This exposure also exceeded the 1 ppm Maximum Use Concentration (MUC) of the employees Full-face air-purifying respirator by 80.1006 times, exposing the employee to the hazard of severe lung disease and obstruction of lung airways.

5) On August 6, 2015 a compounder handling Diacetyl during Butter Flavor formulation was exposed to Diacetyl at a level of 47.5533 parts per million (ppm) as a 15 minute Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL). This exposure exceeded the 0.020 ppm STEL established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) for exposure to Diacetyl by 2377 times. This exposure also exceeded the 1 ppm Maximum Use Concentration (MUC) of the employees Full-face air-purifying respirator by 47.5533 times, exposing the employee to the hazard of severe lung disease and obstruction of lung airways.

6) On August 6, 2015 a compounder handling Diacetyl during Butter Flavor formulation was exposed to Diacetyl at a level of 10.004 parts per million (ppm) as an 8-hour TWA (zero exposures were assumed for unsampled time). This exposure exceeded the 0.010 ppm TWA established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) for exposure to Diacetyl by 1000 times. This exposure also exceeded the 0.5 ppm Maximum Use Concentration (MUC) of the employees Full-face air-purifying respirator by 20.008 times, exposing the employee to the hazard of severe lung disease and obstruction of lung airways.

ABATEMENT DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED FOR THIS ITEM
Date By Which Violation Must be Abated: 01/03/2016