Vinyl chloride maker hit with OSHA fines

GEISMAR, La. (AP) — A chemical company that makes vinyl chloride has been slapped with fines for safety and health violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said on Thursday that it cited the Westlake Vinyls Co. for 10 safety and health violations. The fines total $67,000. The company can contest.

Jack Turner, the acting director for OSHA in Baton Rouge, said Westlake Vinyls "exposed its employees to avoidable workplace hazards that can cause serious injury and possible death."

The violations involve, among other problems, safety issues with piping and instrument diagrams, emergency shutdown procedures and pressure-relieving devices.

The company produces vinyl chloride monomer and polyvinyl chloride. There are about 140 workers at the plant.

In March the facility was damaged by an explosion and fire. No one was injured.

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