OSHA Cites Electric Company Following Acid Mixture Spill

The agency has cited Cooper Power Systems for allegedly exposing its workers to chemical hazards.

OSHA has cited Cooper Power Systems for exposing seven workers to injuries following an acid mixture spill in October 2013 that gave the workers chemical burns on the skin and respiratory tract infections. The company has received six violations and faces $166,000 in proposed fines, the agency announced.

The accident occurred when workers were cleaning an acid mixture spill. Roughly 15-20 gallons of phosphoric/sulfuric acid were released from an over-pressurized hose at the facility. According to OSHA, the company failed to provide the workers with required protective equipment to prevent exposure. The company also failed to train its workers in hazardous material cleanup procedures.

OSHA issued two willful violations for allegedly directing its employees to respond to the spill without completing a hazard evaluation or providing personal protective equipment. The company was also cited for failing to develop an emergency response plan, failure to provide decontamination and first aid for responders, and failure to provide respiratory and PPE equipment for use during cleanup.

"Cooper Power Systems showed a complete disregard for the health and safety of its workers when they made them perform a cleanup of a dangerous chemical without providing them with required training and protective gear," said Nick Walters, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago. "These seven employees were needlessly injured because this company was more interested in a fast cleanup than protecting the people who work for them."

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