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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Newark gas manufacturer repeatedly exposed employees to workplace hazards

OSHA fines Welco Acetylene Corp. $57,400

Employer Name and Location: The acetylene repackaging facility of industrial gas manufacturer Welco Acetylene Corp. is located at 321 Roanoke Place in Newark, New Jersey.

Date Investigation Initiated: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated an inspection on Nov. 21, 2014, as a follow-up to its May 30, 2013, inspection.

Investigation Findings: Welco Acetylene Corp. received two failure-to-abate notices for hazards for which the employer had been cited previously: not maintaining process equipment and not adequately addressing the potential impact of a vapor cloud explosion on an occupied temporary trailer.

Additionally, OSHA found two repeat violations involving workers performing service on a compressor without placing a device on it to prevent the sudden startup or movement of equipment during service and maintenance, a procedure known as lockout/tagout. The company also did not ensure that the written process safety information included all the necessary information pertaining to the equipment. One serious violation was issued for not conducting management of change reviews as required.

Welco Acetylene Corp. has 15 business days from receipt of citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Quote: "Acetylene gas is highly flammable and if released, could cause fire and explosion hazards," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "The violations found during the follow-up inspection, and the ones the company failed to abate, create a hazardous environment to the employees working at the plant and should be immediately corrected."

Proposed penalties: $57,400

View the citations:**