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Oct. 21, 2014


OSHA cites Quest Specialty Coatings in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin,
for willful, repeat safety violations following fires at facility
Fines of $132,800 proposed

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. – A May 1, 2014, inspection conducted after a complaint alleging three separate fires at Quest Specialty Coatings has resulted in the issuance of eight safety violations. Many of the violations were cited under the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration Process Safety Management Standards, which contain specific requirements for managing highly hazardous chemicals in work processes. OSHA cited one willful, two repeat and five serious safety violations at the aerosol paint and coatings manufacturer. Proposed penalties total $132,800.

"Quest Specialty Coatings has a responsibility to ensure the safe operation of its plant by making sure employees are trained in the hazards of manufacturing paints," said Chris Zortman, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "Workers should not be put at risk because this company failed to implement required protections."

OSHA issued one willful violation for failing to conduct necessary inspections and tests on emergency fire control, bypass and relief valves to ensure they were mechanically sound and not dangerous to operators. The company failed to follow recommended inspection timetables for pumps and motors. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The company was issued two repeat citations for failing to develop complete and accurate operating procedures and compile necessary process safety information. The company was cited for similar violations in 2012 at this same facility.

Quest Specialty Coatings failed to address the potential for static accumulation and discharge and train employees in the equipment processes and emergency shutdown procedures for the machines they were operating. The company did not ensure that procedures to maintain mechanical integrity were performed, such as inspecting valves and pipes. In addition, the company failed to inspect procedures and train workers on the hazards of servicing and maintenance, resulting in five serious violations.

An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

To view the citations, visit*

Quest Specialty Coatings, which employs 130 workers, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Milwaukee office at 414-297-3315.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-6976,
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-6976,

Release Number: 14-1939-CHI

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.