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Region 5 News Release: 13-2457-CHI
Dec. 23, 2013
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:       312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Pure Power Technologies
after worker burned by electrical arc flash at Waukesha, Wis., foundry

WAUKESHA, Wis. – Pure Power Technologies LLC has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for one willful and seven serious safety violations after a worker was severely burned by an electrical arc flash on June 25. The maintenance supervisor was injured while servicing a 480-volt circuit breaker without proper electrical protective equipment at the company's Waukesha iron foundry.

"It's unacceptable that Pure Power Technologies failed to ensure employees were following safe work practices," said Chris Zortman, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "Employers have a responsibility to take all precautions to protect workers from known hazards that exist in their facilities."

One willful violation was cited for failure to ensure protective equipment was used while operating the circuit breaker with the cover removed thus exposing workers to electrical shock, arc blast and flash hazards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Additionally, seven serious violations were cited, including:

  • Failing to implement electrical safety-related work practices and use protective shields, barriers and insulating materials that would protect employees performing energized tasks.
  • Reenergizing circuits before determining conditions were safe to do so.
  • Failing to conduct air test on insulating rubber gloves prior to use and to electrically test gloves every six months.
  • Failing to conduct periodic inspections of machinery.
  • Lack of training in safety-related electrical work practices specific to their job assignments.
  • Re-energizing circuits before determining that the equipment and circuit could be safety energized.

A serious violation occurs 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.

OSHA has proposed penalties of $119,000. To view the current citations, visit http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PurePowerTechnologies_924585_1218_13.pdf*

Columbia, S.C -based Pure Power Technologies employs about 1,000 workers at facilities in Columbia and Blythewood, S.C., and Bowling Green, Ky. The Waukesha-based iron metal casting foundry employs about 220 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and 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 Area 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 http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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


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