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Region 5 News Release: 05-657-CHI
May 11, 2005
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: 312-353-6976


Unsafe Response to Chemical Spill Results in $171,000 Fine for Milwaukee Business

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- A dangerous clean-up operation following a thirty-three gallon spill of muriatic acid at Solvox Mfg. Company, a subsidiary of Hydrite Chemical Company, Milwaukee, has resulted in a proposed fine of $171,000 and workplace safety and health violations issued by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency announced today.

OSHA opened an inspection in November 2004 at Solvox after receiving information that workers were assisting in the emergency response, neutralization and clean up of the spill without being provided proper personal protective equipment or training in emergency response. Muriatic acid is highly corrosive and may cause severe burns to all body tissue. OSHA issued three willful and four serious violations to Solvox, alleging that workers engaged in the clean-up were not provided appropriate personal protective equipment and were not properly trained in emergency response procedures.

"Strong enforcement is a key part of OSHA's efforts to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses," said George Yoksas, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "The significant penalty of $171,000 in this case demonstrates our commitment to protecting the health and safety of America's workers."

Solvox manufactures organic chemicals, polishes and sanitation goods, paints, varnishes, lacquers, enamels and allied products. Approximately 40 workers are employed at the Milwaukee facility.

Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Labor Department (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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