Safety and OSHA News

OSHA fines company $787K after explosion/fire

OSHA has issued stiff fines against an Eau Claire, WI, company, in connection with a June 29, 2010 explosion and fire at its facility. The agency says WRR Environmental Services Co. didn’t implement an adequate safety program following a 2007 fire that destroyed its plant.

The explosion at the hazardous waste management processing facility was likely caused when an ignition source within a solvent sludge feed tank ignited flammable solvent vapors. A neighboring tank also exploded. Eight employees working at the plant at the time weren’t injured.

OSHA has issued 1 serious and 14 willful citations for a total of $787,000 in fines.

Fines for the willful violations alone total $784,000. The citations involve violations of OSHA’s process safety standard, including failure to:

  • implement and provide required process safety information such as engineering drawings and materials of construction
  • implement process hazard analyses, operating procedures and training
  • perform pre-startup safety reviews, and inspections and tests on process equipment
  • implement change management procedures, and
  • conduct incident investigations.

In 2007, a fire and explosion destroyed most of the facility. The company admitted 34 safety violations in that incident.

WRR has 15 business days to contest the penalties.

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