AB Specialty Silicones receives citation from OSHA over Waukegan plant explosion

The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the US Department of Labor has issued $1591176 to AB Specialty Silicones LLC in penalties. The administration found that the company committed twelve willful federal safety violations. Four employees of the company suffered fatal injuries in an explosion at the Waukegan plant of the company.

The company has been placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program by the OSHA. The company needs to respond to the citation within the next 15 business days. The silicon product manufacturer can comply, request an informal conference with the area director of the OSHA, or contest the findings. The Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission is made to make the final decision if a company chooses to contest the imposed penalties.

AB Specialty Silicones failed to comply with the electrical standards set by the OSHA, according to the findings. The company used forklifts for the transportation of volatile flammable liquids. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, it is the responsibility of the employers to provide a safe and healthy working environment for the workers.

The role of the OSHA is to ensure the safety of the working people at the workplace by setting and enforcing standards. It also provides education, training, and assistance in this regard. Four workers lost their lives in the Waukegan plant explosion on May 3, 2019.

Jeff Cummings, 27-year-old, Byron Biehn, 53-year-old, Allen Stevens, 29-year-old, and Daniel Nicklas lost their lives in the explosion. A lawsuit was filed against the company in July 2019, according to Lake County and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. It is still undetermined that what was the actual cause of the fatal explosion in the plant. The investigation is still ongoing, according to the website of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

Managing editor of the Chicago Morning Star

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