Lanxess Corporation is to be fined US$3375 for "serious" violations made while crews cleared Hurricane Ike damage in 2008, when its plant on FM 1006 in Orange was flooded with swamp water. The Orange Lanxess facility manufactures polybutadiene rubber, ethylene propylene rubber, and hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber. Contracting crews that was brought in to clean up the plant and the four and a half feet of sludge left by storm surge were exposed to contact and respiratory hazards during the clean up due to improper equipment.
As per Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Lanxess did not have employees use personal protective equipment while working with hazardous chemicals - which included butadiene, ethylene, propylene, hexanes and asbestos - during the clean up, exposing them to contact and respiratory hazards. Lanxess has been notified of the OSHA penalty earlier this month and has until May 6 to pay the fine.
According to company statement, Lanxess sent multiple supply trucks containing personal safety equipment, personal medical equipment and other supplies to the Orange site immediately after the storm in support of a safe remediation effort. Lanxess takes the safety and security of all individuals working on Lanxess sites very seriously and acted appropriately in the aftermath of the hurricane. The company claims it hired a number of experienced restoration companies and other contractors to assist with remediation of the site.