Cal/OSHA investigation followed serious injury to Pacific Scientific employee in December 2016
According to a press release from the California Department of Industrial Relations Cal/OSHA Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company, an explosives manufacturer, in Hollister was cited $293,235 for multiple serious and willful accident-related workplace safety violations.
An investigation of an explosion at the company’s Hollister facility after one of its female technicians was seriously injured on Dec. 1, 2016 determined that the technician was preparing explosives in metal tubing, or Small Column Insulated Delays (SCIDs), for neutron radiation analysis. She had mounted 79 SCIDs onto aluminum support brackets attached to an aluminum metal tray. While attempting to apply tape to secure the SCIDs to the tray, 75 of the 79 tubes exploded, sending metal shrapnel in all directions, seriously injuring the technician.
Cal/OSHA inspectors determined that Pacific Scientific failed to take the steps necessary to protect the worker from explosive hazards. The willful, serious violations, according to regulartors, included the employer’s failure to:
• Protect the employee’s workstation from the explosive tubes in the holder, despite Pacific Scientific’s own manufacturing procedures that require the use of a safety shield when working with the loaded holders.
• Identify, evaluate and control hazards associated with handling the explosive tubes during their manufacture.
• Provide clear written instructions on how to mount the SCIDs safely to a metal tray for required analysis.
“This explosives manufacturer put employees at risk by failing to follow their own safety procedures, and unfortunately a worker was seriously injured,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum.
As a result of the inspection following the 2016 accident, Cal/OSHA cited Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company for nine workplace safety and health violations, three of them in the willful-serious category with four serious and two general.
The release further stated that a willful violation is issued where evidence shows that the employer committed an intentional and knowing violation—as distinguished from inadvertent, accidental or ordinarily negligent—and the employer was conscious of the fact that what it was doing constituted a violation, or was aware that a hazardous condition existed and made no reasonable effort to eliminate the hazard. A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious physical harm could result from the actual hazardous condition.
This is not the first time Pacific Scientific has been cited for neglecting workers’ safety. In a 2007 explosion accident, an employee suffered serious burns and needed to be airlifted to intensive care. Cal/OSHA issued general citations for lack of required body protection and serious citations regarding the manufacturer’s lack of a safety plan. More recently, a 2015 accident caused another serious injury. Again, Cal/OSHA citations noted a failure to identify a hazardous practice safety plan.
Repeated calls to Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company were not answered in time for publication of this story.
For more details concerning the citation and penalties go to the DIR link.
Cal/OSHA’s PSM Unit is responsible for inspecting refineries and chemical plants that handle large quantities of toxic and flammable materials. Health and safety standards enforced by the PSM Unit, including adequate worker training and participation, are intended to prevent catastrophic explosions, fires, and releases of dangerous chemicals, which could harm workers. Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California.
Hollister’s Pacific Scientific not part of $685M sale
purchase of Pacific Scientific Aerospace, the Pacific Scientific
Energetic Materials Company facility on Union Road is not part of
the transaction, according to a document about the sale and
confirmed by a local company official.
As the sale is set to close on Meggitt Corp.’s $685 million purchase of Pacific Scientific Aerospace, the Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company facility on Union Road is not part of the transaction, according to a document about the sale and confirmed by a local company official.
Danaher Corp. (DHR) announced in January that it had signed a definitive agreement to sell Pacific Scientific Aerospace to Meggitt PLC (MGGT).
Upon the closing, expected this quarter, Meggitt is set to pay $685 million to Danaher for the aerospace business – which supplies electric power, electric linear actuation, safety and security products to the commercial and military aerospace markets, according to a press release from January on the agreement. The aerospace business had revenues in 2010 of about $378 million.
Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company – with operations in Arizona and California, including the Hollister facility on Union Road that serves as one of San Benito County’s largest employers – is not part of the transaction, according to a document obtained by the Free Lance. The Danaher Corp. businesses that are involved in the sale include Pacific Scientific HTL/Kin-Tech, Scientific Aviation Services, Securaplane Technologies, Joslyn Sunbank, OECO and Artus.
“We have no inside information on any of that,” said Marlene Martinez, a human resources official with the Hollister location. “Danaher as a corporation has not given us anymore information.”
Pacific Scientific in the Hollister area includes more than 200,000 square feet of space and the business here makes high-volume ordnance devices, electronic and laser systems, laser components and systems, aircrew safety systems and components, and active protection systems, according to its website.
Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials in 2003 bought the high-tech ordinance and explosives company McCormick Selph, which had owned the Hollister facility and others.
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Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company
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Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company
Hollister, CA 95023
Greg Scaven [email protected]
Thornton (Alex) McGill [email protected]
Business Phone: (831) 637-3731
Business Fax: (831) 637-5494
Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company is a recognized leader throughout the industry by utilizing leading-edge technology in the development and testing of explosive devices and subsystems.
PS/EMC has extensive experience in designing, integrating and manufacturing precision components. Research and development efforts continue to provide innovative approaches for practical designs for both productivity and reliability.
PSEMC is a global leader in the design, development and production of innovative energetic solutions meeting the most critical application and technological needs of our military defense, aerospace and commercial customers.
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