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Region 5 News Release:    07-643-CHI
May 7, 2007
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: (312)353-6976


U.S. Labor Department's OSHA issues multiple safety citations against two Milwaukee companies for blast that took three lives

MILWAUKEE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $56,000 in fines against industrial gear manufacturer Rexnord Industries and $16,800 against J.M. Brennan Inc., both based in Milwaukee, for alleged serious violations of federal workplace safety standards following a gas explosion last year that claimed three lives.

A large explosion and fire occurred Dec. 6, 2006, at the Rexnord plant at 3001 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee during an operational test of a back-up propane gas system. An underground leak allowed gas to escape and ignite. OSHA's investigation resulted in eight serious violations of safety standards issued to Rexnord pertaining to employee and emergency training and response, failing to protect underground liquid propane piping from corrosion, and failure to conduct a site analysis to identify hazardous conditions and minimize employee exposure to explosion hazards.

OSHA also issued three serious violations to J.M. Brennan Inc. for its improper installation of underground liquid propane piping at the facility, as well as training and emergency response deficiencies.

"It is impossible to overstate the necessity for caution and adherence to safety regulations in dealing with volatile gas," said OSHA's Area Director George Yoksas in Milwaukee.

The companies have 15 working days to respond to the alleged violations and penalties.

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 assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Labor Department 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 at (202) 693-7828 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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