Region 5 News Release: V-14
Monday, January 25, 1999
Contact: James Dollins, (414)-297-3315
Proposed Penalties total $30,900
OSHA ISSUES CITATIONS TO MERCURY WASTE SOLUTIONS INC. FOR ALLEGED WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations to Mercury Waste Solutions Inc., Union Grove, Wis., alleging 16 violations. Proposed penalties totaled $30,900.
According to William Q. Wiehrdt, acting area director for the Milwaukee OSHA Office, the violations were issued after an investigation of the plant at 21211 Durand Avenue in Union Grove. The inspection was initiated after a referral by a state agency alleged that workers were exposed to elevated levels of mercury.
The twelve alleged serious violations cited the company's failure to protect workers from sudden oven pressurization, inadequate hazardous waste training and emergency response plan, inadequate emergency eyewash for workers near a corrosive liquid, and open electrical panels. The company failed to notify a commercial laundry of the hazards of mercury in contaminated uniforms and did not inform outside contractors of the hazards of mercury. Mercury Waste Solutions Inc. allegedly failed to comply with the exposure limit for airborne mercury exposure, did not have adequate engineering controls, and had an inadequate respiratory protection program.
The four alleged other-than-serious violations cited deficiencies in the maintenance of the OSHA 200 log of injuries and illnesses, lack of inspections of the lockout/tagout procedure, open knockouts on electrical boxes, and improper use of flexible electrical cords.
OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
An other-than-serious violation is one where the probability for serious injury is low.
Mercury Waste Solutions, Inc. has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
This information is available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (312) 353-6976; TDD Message Referral Phone: 1-800-800-4571.