A Wisconsin company will pay a hefty fine for OSHA violations connected to an explosion that injured two workers, forced a mile-wide evacuation and seriously damaged a building.
Cortec Spray Technologies of Spooner, WI, has agreed to pay a fine of $250,000. OSHA originally proposed $424,000 in fines for multiple safety violations. The reduced fine is contingent on Cortec’s promise to bring the plant into compliance by Dec. 31.
The Spooner Fire District Chief determined that on March 18, an accumulation of propane ignited and caused the large explosion.
Workers had been trying to purge a liquid propellant line, but ran into difficulties. That allowed the gas levels to rise and drift into another area of the plant where an employee was operating an electric-powered forklift.
The forklift caught fire and the explosion followed.