Cooper Power Systems, LLC has been cited for several violations of OSHA guidelines after a chemical spill at their Milwaukee plant, with proposed penalties reaching $166,000.
On October 13, 2013, an overly-pressurized hose malfunctioned, spraying 15 to 20 gallons of phosphoric/sulfuric acid over parts of the facility. Even though written company procedure dictated that they call in qualified services to handle the spill, management instructed their workers to clean it up.
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Without the proper safety equipment, workers soon started showing symptoms of acid exposure, like shortness of breath, headache and skin irritation or burns. One employee with respiratory issues required urgent medical care.
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OSHA cited the company for four serious violations and two willful violations, including:
- Directing employees to respond to an acid spill without conducting a hazard evaluation
- Lack of personal protective equipment
- Failing to train workers in emergency response procedures
- Failing to provide decontamination and first aid treatment for responders
"Cooper Power Systems, LLC showed a complete disregard for the health and safety of its workers when they made them perform a cleanup of a dangerous chemical without providing them with required training and protective gear," stated Nick Walters, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago. "These seven employees were needlessly injured because this company was more interested in a fast cleanup than protecting the people who work for them."
Your company has an obligation to provide you with a safe and hazard free work environment. If you suspect your company has been endangering you or your fellow workers, please call Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC to discuss your case. Our experienced legal team is ready to help you.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC
—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys