Local News

November 28, 2012

MFG cited for 20 safety violations, fined $77,000

Dalton company disputes findings

A Dalton chemical manufacturing company has been fined $77,000 and cited for 20 safety violations for what Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigators found after a chemical release there in May sent 43 people to the hospital for decontamination.

OSHA officials in a press release from the U.S. Department of Labor announced the proposed penalties for MFG Chemical Inc. after the investigation into an “explosion... caused by a runaway reaction from an overheated reactor.” The incident blew a pressure release disk on a container of the chemical Coagulant 129 through a wall at a nearby Beaulieu of America plant. No injuries were reported.

“This inspection has identified a wide range of safety hazards that need to be addressed in order to protect workers,” Andre Richards, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office, said in a press release. “It is the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace.”

Charles E. “Chuck” Gavin IV, president and CEO of MFG, said the company “is and always has been a company that is vitally concerned with the safety of its employees.”

“We are not in agreement with the findings and will be meeting to discuss these very soon,” he said. “The incident was not an explosion, but an over-pressurization of the equipment and fortunately there were no injuries or environmental issues. The majority of all findings have been corrected.”

The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with an OSHA area director or contest the findings before a review commission.

Dalton firefighters initially reported Coagulant 129 — a yellow liquid used in water treatment — flowed 1,000 to 1,300 feet into the street at the company’s Callahan Road site when the incident occurred.

“The product is non-hazardous and environmentally benign,” Gavin said.

He said MFG has been certified through an environmental health, safety and security management program since 2008. The program requires manufacturing facilities to be verified by a third party, he said. MFG Chemical manufactures a range of specialty chemicals for the water treatment, agriculture, pulp and paper industries, according to OSHA.

An OSHA spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a message asking for more details on the kinds of violations MFG was cited for, but the press release states 19 of the 20 infractions were “serious violations.”

A serious violation “occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known,” according to the release.

The release states the violations include:

• Exposing workers to fire and explosion hazards while they performed manufacturing duties, as well as failing to ensure that initial process hazard analyses were conducted.

• Develop operational procedures that are safe, accurate and concise, and which include operating parameters such as emergency shutdown.

• Provide training and implement safe work practices for contracted workers performing maintenance in a PSM-covered (Process Safety Management) area.

• Develop and implement a written mechanical integrity program for workers required to perform maintenance on and repair process equipment.

• Develop emergency response procedures that include handling small chemical releases.

• Identify permit-required confined spaces such as reactors, receivers and mixers, among others.

• Ensure confined space permits were issued and documented prior to allowing workers to enter the spaces.

• Ensure that eyewash/shower facilities were available and accessible for workers exposed to chemical burns.

• Mount and identify the placement of portable fire extinguishers; and establish a preferred way of communicating an emergency evacuation.

Text Only
Local News
  • runner thompson.jpg Taking the race back

    Dean Thompson didn’t go 100 yards in his 26.2 miles through the streets of Boston without seeing people on the side of the road cheering for him.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bobby Lee Dixon mg.jpg Officials: Man jailed for driving toward officer

    A Chatsworth man who officials said accelerated a vehicle toward a law enforcement officer who was approaching on foot remains in the Murray County jail without bond.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Charges undetermined following standoff (Updated 5:45 p.m.)

    Police have yet to decide whether to press criminal charges against a man they say was armed and intoxicated while barricading himself in his office at a carpet mill in downtown Dalton Tuesday evening.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Man charged for using fraudulent Social Security card

    A man is being held in the Whitfield County Jail on multiple charges for using a fraudulent Social Security card with someone else’s Social Security number to land a job at a rug manufacturer in Dalton and for providing false information to receive workers’ compensation benefits, according to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division.

    April 23, 2014

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Police: Four-hour standoff ends with peaceful surrender

    A man who was armed with at least one firearm and believed to be under the influence of alcohol surrendered to police Tuesday night after barricading himself for four hours inside a carpet mill in downtown Dalton, officials said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray deputy bit by drug dog while taking selfie

    A Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputy is recovering after one of the department’s drug dogs bit him in the face on Monday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Local wrestler ‘made everybody smile’

    Rash Renegade got his wrestling nickname after a motorcycle wreck several years ago left him with a bad case of road burn.

    April 23, 2014

  • Pinwheels in murray '14 1 mlh.jpg Awareness can prevent child abuse

    Three hundred forty-six pinwheels dotted the Murray County Courthouse lawn on Tuesday, representing 346 reported cases of child abuse in the county last year.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray library, regional system still far apart

    Murray County officials say they will announce soon if they will follow through with their plan to take the Chatsworth-Murray Library out of the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fire believed to have started outside home

    Investigators are still working to learn what sparked a fire that nearly destroyed a house at 602 Top St. in Dalton on Monday.

    April 22, 2014