Cary Plant Fined $262,000 Following Explosion

OSHA determines locked doors and snow-blocked exits impeded employees from exiting quickly

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An explosion and fire at Fox Valley Systems, at 640 Industrial Dr., in far northwest suburban Cary rattled nerves on Wednesday afternoon. (Published Wednesday, Mar 6, 2013)

    The federal government fined a suburban aerosol paint manufacturing company Thursday $262,000 Thursday following an explosion and fire in March.

    Three workers were injured and 25 nearby businesses evacuated during the incident at Cary's Fox Valley Systems, Inc.

    Explosions, Fire Rock Cary Plant

    [CHI] Explosions, Fire Rock Cary Plant
    Three people were injured in a pair of explosions at the Fox Valley Systems plants. Natalie Martinez reports. (Published Wednesday, Mar 6, 2013)

    The business faces 26 serious safety violations, according to a statement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    OSHA placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program and proposed fines of $262,000.

    Witness Gets Video of Second Cary Explosion

    [CHI] Witness Gets Video of Second Cary Explosion
    Eyewitness Michael Ginsberg recorded this video of the second of two explosions that rocked the Fox Valley Systems plant in Cary on Wednesday. The explosion caused the front of the two-story structure to blow out. (Published Thursday, Mar 7, 2013)

    Locked doors impeded exit routes and snow-blocked exits, which slowed employees from exiting the plant quickly, the statement said.

    "In part, workers were injured in this tragic explosion because they could not get out quickly because of blocked exit doors," Nick Walters, regional administrator for OSHA in Chicago, said in the statement.

    "This is unacceptable for any business, and especially for one handling hazardous materials and chemicals daily," Walters said.

    The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency sought a court order in to close the plant after the accident, alleging substantial danger to the environment, air pollution and water pollution hazards because of the explosion.

    McHenry County officials also ordered Fox Valley Systems to secure the damaged facility and present a full analysis and a plan for re-opening after the explosion.