The Internal Revenue Service's Ogden Center has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for not following an emergency plan after workers complained of noxious odors three weeks ago, officials said.
OSHA's Salt Lake City office mailed copies of the citation to the center and its employees union, the National Treasury Employees Union, on Wednesday, OSHA spokesman Earl Cook said Friday.However, Cook said he could not immediately release details of the citation because the IRS has 30 days to answer the complaint.
Laura Stratton, president of the local NTEU, said Friday she had not yet received the citation. But she said Cook told her the center was cited for not following the building's emergency plan after employees in the data conversion area complained of noxious fumes during floor construction the weekend of Nov. 4-6.
Cook also told her that center officials will be told to change the emergency plan regarding noxious odors because the current one is inadequate, Stratton said. She said she does not know what those changes will entail.
Thirty-four employees in the data conversion area were sent home three hours early Nov. 6 because of construction fumes in the nearby collections area, said IRS spokesman Doug Green. Work began the day before to seal the floor with xylene before placing a second floor on top of it, he said.
Xylene is derived from coal tar, wood tar and petroleum.
OSHA inspected the collections area on Nov. 7 after an employee phoned the agency complaining of odors caused by the xylene, said Utah OSHA Director Robert Curtis.
"Although there were no health hazards present that day, the issue was when we should have been brought in," he said.
The IRS will not be fined because it is a federal agency, Cook said.