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Region 3 News Release: 12-764-PHI (osha 12-045)
May 2, 2012
Contact: Leni Fortson   Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102   215-861-5101
Email: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov   hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites IHOP restaurant in South Charleston,
W.Va., for safety and health hazards after workers sickened by chemical exposure

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Country Road 3054 Inc., doing business as IHOP Restaurants, for five alleged serious safety and health violations at its South Charleston establishment. OSHA opened an inspection in February after nine employees were sent to the hospital as the result of being exposed to chlorine gas, which occurred when incompatible chemicals were mixed together. Proposed penalties total $25,000.

OSHA cited the company for hazards involving chemical exposure including the failure to conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment; develop and implement a hazard communication program; and provide required training, eye protection, eye wash facilities and material safety data sheets for chemicals used in the workplace. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"Because chemicals have the ability to react when exposed to other chemicals or certain physical conditions, it is vital that employers take the appropriate steps to protect workers from all related hazards," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office. "OSHA's standards, when followed, offer these necessary safeguards."

To better protect workers from hazard