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Thu Feb 13, 2020, 01:35 PM

Explosions rock chemical plant; evacuation but no injuries

Source: AP

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (AP) — Several explosions rocked a plant in Massachusetts that manufactures chemicals used in medicines Thursday morning, blowing a hole in the roof and leading to an evacuation but no injuries, authorities said.

Authorities said there is no public health threat resulting from the blasts at the PCI Synthesis building in Newburyport, about 35 miles north of Boston. But the explosions come a year after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found “serious” violations in the company’s management of highly hazardous chemicals, according to online agency records.

PCI Synthesis blamed a mechanical issue for Thursday’s blasts.

“At this time, we believe it was a mechanical issue from our steam line, and that there was no fire and that the sprinkler system was not discharged,” the company said in a statement late Thursday morning.

Read more: https://apnews.com/395a9cff830fa8263a2e61c7799d3dec

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Reply Explosions rock chemical plant; evacuation but no injuries (Original post)
Omaha Steve Thursday OP
Stryst Thursday #1
muriel_volestrangler Thursday #2

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 02:08 PM

1. raises hand Worked on steam systems in the Air Force

Specifically steam generators, autoclaves, and gravity sterilizers (the stuff they would have been using). Properly inspected steam systems are very safe. Seeing as they had an earlier complaint for hazmat management, I do not trust that they had anyone looking at their steam systems.

As a BMET (biomedical equipment repair technician), we used to do these things called MERC (medical equipment repair corpse) missions, were we would get in a van with a bunch of common spare parts and tools, and we would do maintenance on equipment at VA hospitals and community clinics. At least a half a dozen times, I had to report BASIC but extremely dangerous maintenance conditions. Things like exposed wires near an O2 tree.

You can hate OSHA or the food inspectors or whichever other inspection agency makes your job a pinch as much as you want, but those inspections happen for a reason.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 02:15 PM

2. Declining Federal Oversight of Workplace Safety Could Have Fatal Consequences

n analysis of data by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) shows that under the Trump administration, in workplaces monitored by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace deaths have increased at the same time as the number of inspectors has decreased—a sign that the administration’s effort to dismantle health and safety protections for workers has made many workplaces more deadly. The data paint a picture of two years of malign neglect at OSHA, the chief federal authority for preventing workers from getting maimed, poisoned, abused or killed at work. (The data, which track performance under occupational health and safety rules, does not cover all workplaces—it excludes police, firefighters, army, work-related traffic deaths, deaths in mines, and deaths in the 29 states with state-run OSHA plans.) In the workplaces under the federal OSHA jurisdiction, NELP found an uptick in worker deaths on the job between fiscal years 2017 and 2018, from 837 to 929. When researchers assessed overall enforcement activity in terms of “enforcement units,” which factor in complexity and frequency of inspections, they also discovered a “steady decline” in the intensity of enforcement.


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