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OSHA fines Waukegan plant after explosion kills 4, including 3 from Kenosha County

Posted: 6:33 PM, Oct 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-28 19:33:03-04

WAUKEGAN, Ill. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined an Illinois plant following an explosion that killed four workers.

The Waukegan-based company, AB Specialty Silicones, is facing $1.59 million in fines for 12 federal safety violations after four employees were killed in an explosion on May 3, 2019. Three of the four killed were from Kenosha County.

OSHA investigators determined that "AB Specialty Silicones failed to ensure that electrical equipment and installations in the production area of the plant complied with OSHA electrical standards, and were approved for hazardous locations."

The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt said, "By ignoring safety and health requirements, this employer created an unsafe work environment with deadly consequences."

The company has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings.

According to OSHA, "The company also used forklifts powered by liquid propane to transport volatile flammable liquids, and operated these forklifts in areas where employees handled and processed volatile flammable liquids and gases, creating the potential for ignition."