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OSHA Faults Pharmaceutical Producer in Massachusetts Plant’s Deadly Explosion



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A Newburyport, Massachusetts pharmaceutical and chemical producer and its father or mother firm may have prevented an worker’s dying from an explosion however lacked the required safeguards in a chemical manufacturing course of, an Occupational Security and Well being Administration investigation discovered.

OSHA’s investigation of the Could 4 explosion at PolyCarbon Industries Inc./SEQENS SAS recognized quite a few deficiencies within the facility’s course of security administration program for extremely hazardous chemicals for the manufacturing and drying of a chemical product known as Dekon 139 and for flamable mud hazards.


In the course of the course of, a stress vessel exploded inflicting an worker’s deadly accidents.

OSHA has cited the agency for 11 violations and proposed $298,254 in penalties.


OSHA investigators stated that famong its alleged failures, the corporate didn’t decide the combustibility hazards of supplies used within the manufacturing course of, exposing workers to fireplace and explosion hazards from flamable mud, failed to incorporate secure higher and decrease temperature limits to forestall the decomposition of Dekon 139 and didn’t overview a November 2022 compliance audit report with all affected personnel whose job duties are related to the report findings.

SEQENS SAS operates 24 manufacturing crops and three analysis and improvement facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. Previously named PCI Synthesis, the Newburyport web site is a chemical-processing facility engaged within the manufacturing, drying, packaging and testing of energetic pharmaceutical intermediates and customized synthesized chemical compounds


“The necessities of OSHA’s Course of Security Administration customary are stringent and complete as a result of failure to conform absolutely can have a extreme or catastrophic affect on workers that, on this case, value a employee their life,” stated OSHA’s Space Director Sarah Carle in Andover, Massachusetts. “Employers should rigorously, utterly and repeatedly scrutinize, replace and preserve every aspect of the method correctly to determine and reduce hazards and shield employees’ security and well being.”

PCI/SEQENS SAS has 15 enterprise days to conform, request a casual convention with OSHA or contest the findings.


On the day of the explosion on this coastal metropolis north of Boston, fireplace crews battled heavy fireplace situations for about one hour. 5 workers have been within the constructing on the time. One worker, recognized as 62-year-old Jack O’Keefe, was discovered useless; the opposite 4 employees have been handled at a neighborhood hospital and launched.

The tragedy has raised questions on the way forward for the plant that has a historical past of well being, security and environmental issues. This explosion was the third on the plant since 2020. It moved to the Newburyport plant in 2005 from a facility in Leominster, the place there had been two explosions.


Newburyport Mayor Sean Reardon has questioned whether or not the plant ought to be allowed to reopen.

Photograph: Crews on-scene at hazardous supplies explosion in Newburyport, Mass. on Could 4,2023. (Photograph Courtesy Newburyport Hearth)



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