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OSHA proposes $1.59M fine after deadly silicone plant blast

Emergency personnel and others search and clear the scene of an explosion and fire at AB Specialty Silicones chemical plant on May 4 in Waukegan, Illinois. OSHA announced it found 12 willful federal safety violations following the May 3 explosion. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Emergency personnel and others search and clear the scene of an explosion and fire at AB Specialty Silicones chemical plant on May 4 in Waukegan, Illinois. OSHA announced it found 12 willful federal safety violations following the May 3 explosion. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune via AP)

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed fining a Chicago-area silicone factory $1.59 million for safety violations uncovered after an explosion at the plant that killed four workers.

The agency announced Friday it found 12 willful federal safety violations at AB Specialty Silicones following the May 3 explosion in Waukegan, about 50 miles north of Chicago.

OSHA says it has placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

It says the company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, to contest the findings, or to request a conference.

AB Specialty Silicones issued a statement saying it was reviewing the citations, that it’s cooperating with OSHA, and that the explosion was “an accident, and there was no willful intent involved.”

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