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OSHA Seeks $1.2 Million Fine

ST. LOUIS (CN) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants to fine G.S. Robins & Co. $1.2 million for a chemical spill that sent eight workers to a hospital last August. The workers were exposed to para-nitroaniline, a poison that reduces the blood's ability to transport oxygen. The chemical can be fatal if swallowed, but all the employees recovered after treatment.

OSHA issued 21 willful citations to G.S. Robins for the incident. OSHA also issued a repeat citation for failing to provide an eyewash/shower in corrosive chemicals areas and an additional 16 citations for hazards associated with the transfer of para-nitroaniline and other workplace practices.

"There are means available to safely handle deadly chemicals such as this, and those means were ignored," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Donald G. Shalhoub in a statement.

G.S. Robins has 15 days to comply. The company can request an informal conference with OSHA's director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before an independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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