Wallingford company facing fines for violations

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– A Wallingford company is facing fines near $87,000 for what OSHA calls serious violations.

According to a release from OSHA, employees of R+L Carriers Shared Services LLC faced dangerous chemicals, fire and explosion hazards back in October while they tried to contain a chemical without proper training and protective equipment.

OSHA said they found two repeated and four serious violations during their investigation. The two repeated violations came from similar hazards cited by OSHA during a 2011 inspection of the company in Chicago.

The investigation found that a 55 gallon drum of tetrahydrofuran being carried by a forklift from a truck accidentally punctured.  The employees attempted to contain the spill by using absorbents and cordoning the area off, according to the release. OSHA’s investigation found that the management lacked an emergency response plan and none of the employees were trained as first responders.

The investigation also found that the emergency plan didn’t include procedures for timely reporting on emergency events, that no respiratory protection was provided, and there was no qualified person on-site to oversee the response. It was also found that the forklift was not operated properly.

“These workers were essentially defenseless. They did not know how to evaluate the hazards involved, what personal protective equipment to use and what steps to follow to contain the spill safely. Worse, no one present at the terminal did,” said Robert Kowalski, OSHA’s area director in Bridgeport. “These deficiencies in emergency response by R+L Carriers put its employees at risk of death or serious injury.”

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