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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined AB Specialty Silicones, Waukegan, IL $1.5 million for 12 willful federal safety violations after a May 3,  2019 explosion killed four employees. The company has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Among the findings of the OSHA investigation of the AB Specialty Silicones explosion were that the company:

  • Failed to ensure that electrical equipment in the production area was in compliance with OSHA electrical standards.
  • Used liquid-propane-powered forklifts to transport volatile flammable liquids.
  • Operated liquid-propane-powered forklifts in areas where volatile, flammable liquids and gases, were handled and processed.

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

AB Specialty Silicones makes silicones used in the manufacture of adhesives, sealants and applications in food processing and medical and dental products. On May 3, nine employees were in the building when something went terribly wrong during a chemical-mixing process.

Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said the heroic efforts of the four men who died, Jeff Cummings, 57, of Kenosha, Byron Biehn, 53, of Union Grove, Daniel Nicklas, 24, of Beach Park and Allen Stevens, 29, of Paddock Lake, saved the lives of their co-workers.

The explosion lawyers at Pritzker Hageman represent clients nationwide who have been injured in explosions and the families of those who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one. If your family needs help, call us for a consultation. Our toll-free number is 1 (888) 377-8900. If you prefer, you can send a text to 612-261-0856, or complete the form below.

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