U.S. Workplace Safety Regulators Investigating Chemical Spill at Ultium EV Battery Plant

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Filed under Automotive, EV News, GM, News

U.S. workplace safety regulators have launched an investigation into a recent chemical spill incident that occurred at the Ultium EV battery plant located in Ohio. This facility is a joint venture between General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solution, known as Ultium Cells LLC. The incident involved a leak of a chemical solvent used in battery production.

Ultium Cells LLC, in a statement released on Wednesday, confirmed the occurrence of a cathode mixing slurry leak at their Ohio plant. Upon discovering the issue, the company immediately initiated actions to identify the cause of the leak and contain it to prevent any further harm.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has confirmed that Ultium reported the incident on Monday and is now actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the leak. This includes examining the actions taken by the company and assessing whether any employees were put at risk during the incident.

Fortunately, Ultium has reported that none of its employees were in the vicinity of the leak, resulting in no reported employee exposure or injuries. In response to the incident, the company promptly cleared the immediate area and temporarily suspended mixing operations while they evaluated and resolved the situation. Following a thorough assessment and ensuring safety, operations at the facility have now been fully restored.

The chemical involved in the spill is commonly used in battery production and can pose public health risks if mishandled.

It’s worth noting that OSHA has an ongoing presence at the Ultium Ohio facility, with six open inspections and five closed inspections. The company has reportedly paid a total of $31,078 in penalties related to these inspections thus far.

In a broader context, this incident occurs against the backdrop of labor-related developments at the Ultium Cells Ohio plant. In December, the plant’s workers voted overwhelmingly to join the United Auto Workers (UAW) union; however, they have yet to reach an initial contract agreement. Ultium recently stated that during the six-month collective bargaining process, the UAW has not presented any wage proposals or counter proposals.

Additionally, in July, the UAW released a report that raised concerns about health and safety practices at the Ultium Ohio plant. These issues may continue to be a focal point in ongoing labor negotiations.

GM and LG Energy Solution, the parent companies behind Ultium Cells LLC, are concurrently involved in the construction of two other battery plants in Michigan and Tennessee, which underscores the growing significance of battery production in the electric vehicle industry.


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