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ExxonMobil Royal Dutch Shell company Infineum cited for safety violations at Linden facility

The Star-Ledger – ExxonMobil and Shell subsidiary in Linden cited by OSHA for chemical hazards

By Abby Gruen/The Star-Ledger

June 01, 2010, 2:57PM

File photo of Infineum worker Emil Wachter standing near a pipe rack at the company’s Linden facility on August 12, 1999.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Infineum, a manufacturer of petroleum additives for lubricants and fuels, for 22 workplace safety violations, including exposing employees to chemical hazards, at the company’s Linden facility.

Proposed penalties total $88,500, said OSHA in a press release today.

Infineum, is a joint venture of ExxonMobil and Shell, and has 262 employees in Linden.

An OSHA inspection on Nov. 24, 2009, in response to a complaint related to a chlorine release at the facility, resulted in citations for violations related to a deficient process safety management system. Among the hazards observed by OSHA inspectors was the company’s failure to establish and implement written procedures required to manage any changes to technology, facilities, equipment and procedures that can potentially impact a chemical process, OSHA said.

“Chlorine is a highly hazardous chemical that can have a severe impact on employees’ safety and health,” said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA’s Avenel Area Office. “All aspects of the OSHA process safety management standard must be followed by employers in order to ensure that workers go home safe at the end of the day.”

The process safety management standard is intended to prevent or minimize the consequences of a catastrophic release of toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive chemicals from a process. A process is any activity or combination of activities including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling or the on-site movement of highly hazardous chemicals.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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