OSHA Issues $787,000 in Penalties Against Wisconsin Firm

The citation includes 14 alleged willful and one serious violation against WRR Environmental Services Co. of Eau Claire in connection with a June 29 explosion and fire at its plant, OSHA announced Tuesday.

OSHA issued $787,000 in proposed penalties Tuesday against a hazardous waste management and solvent recycling company, WRR Environmental Services Co. of Eau Claire, Wis. There were 14 willful and one serious citation filed for allegedly failing to implement measures to prevent chemical fires and explosions at its plant in Eau Claire, where an OSHA investigation took place after a June 29 explosion and fire in a solvent sludge feed tank.

The tank's roof blew off, and a nearby tank also exploded. "Employees had been working in the area of the solvent sludge feed tank immediately prior to the explosion. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries," OSHA stated in its news release.

"Even after WRR Environmental Services experienced a devastating fire that destroyed the facility in 2007, the company still failed to implement an adequate program to ensure safe operating conditions," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels.

OSHA said this investigation was part of its new Severe Violators Enforcement Program.

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