Federal officials this week labeled DuPont Co. a “severe violator” of worker safety rules, after uncovering more safety problems in an investigation launched following a massive toxic gas leak that killed four workers at the company’s La Porte, Texas, plant last November.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration promised the move would bring closer scrutiny for DuPont facilities around the country, but did not fully explain how agency inspectors would apply the initiative to three dozen facilities — including two in West Virginia — that DuPont last week spun off into a separate company called Chemours.
“OSHA is currently evaluating how to proceed further in this case,” agency spokesman Juan J. Rodriguez said in an email response to questions about the situation.
In May, OSHA had proposed $99,000 in fines for violations related to the Nov. 15 leak of methyl mercaptan that killed four workers at the Texas facility. On Thursday, agency officials announced another $274,000 in proposed fines for additional violations OSHA inspectors found in an expanded review at the La Porte operation.