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.