BOSTON -- Bostik, a manufacturer of adhesives for furniture, woodworking and other uses, was cited for 50 alleged violations of workplace safety standards by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Bostik faces $917,000 in porpoised fines for the citations stemming from OSHA's investigation into a March 12 explosion at the company's plant in Middleon, MA.

OSHA said its inspectors identified "several serious deficiencies" in the company's process safety management program. OSHA said on the day of the explosion, a valve on a transfer line inadvertently was left open, resulting in the release of flammable acetone vapors. The vapors exploded after being ignited by an undetermined source.

According to OSHA, Bostik's process safety information for the solvation process that uses acetone was incomplete. The employer's analysis of hazards related to the process did not address previous incidents with a potential for catastrophic results, such as forklifts that struck process equipment, and did not address human factors such as operator error, communication between shift changes and employee fatigue from excessive overtime.


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