Company lacked proper safety procedures to prevent deaths of four workers in methyl mercaptan leak

DuPont failed to take the necessary precautions to protect the four workers who died after a methyl mercaptan leak at the company’s La Porte, Texas facility in November 2014, the US Department of Labor’s occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) has determined.

‘Had the company assessed the dangers involved, or trained their employees on what to do if the ventilation system stopped working, they might have had a chance,’ said OSHA’s assistant secretary of labor, David Michaels. The fatal incident occurred as methyl mercaptan was unexpectedly released when one worker opened a drain on a vent line.

The OSHA cited DuPont for 11 violations, including one repeat violation for not training employees on using the building’s ventilation system and other safety procedures. The federal office also fined the company $99,000 (£65,000).