DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Significant Citations - OSHA Fines Cooper Power $166,000

OSHA defines a significant citation as one with more than $100,000 in proposed fines. An OSHA citation is a claim by OSHA that there has been a safety violation. It does not mean a violation has taken place, nor that the violation is as severe as claimed. The company has 15 days to contest OSHA claims. The following are the citations OSHA announced last week that have total fines of $100,000 or more.

OSHA Fines Cooper Power Systems After Acid Injuries ($166,000)

Following injuries to seven workers at Cooper Power Systems LLC, (Wisconsin) including chemical burns to the skin and irritation to their respiratory tracts requiring urgent medical treatment, OSHA has cited the company for six violations, including two willful violations. The workers were injured after exposure to an acid mixture while cleaning a spill that occurred at the facility on Oct. 30, 2013. The company was cited for failing to provide workers with required protective equipment to prevent exposure and failure to provide required training in hazardous material clean-up procedures. The citations carry proposed penalties of $166,000.

Approximately 15-20 gallons of phosphoric/sulfuric acid were released from an overpressurized hose at the facility, which manufactures electrical power delivery products. OSHA's investigation found that employees were directed to perform clean-up operations despite the company's written policy to bring in qualified outside services for this type of work. Following the cleanup, the employees started to experience symptoms of exposure to acid, including shortness of breath, headache, skin irritation and burns. The respiratory distress required urgent medical care.

OSHA has cited two willful violations
for directing employees to respond to an acid spill without conducting a hazard evaluation, lack of personal protective equipment and failing to train workers in emergency response procedures. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Cooper Power Systems was also cited for four serious safety violations including failing to:
  • develop an emergency response plan;
  • provide decontamination and first aid treatment for responders;
  • provide respiratory and personal protective equipment for use during cleanup.
An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

To view the citations, visit:

Cooper Power Systems has been previously cited by OSHA 11 times since 1989.

Cooper Power Systems is a division of Waukesha-based Eaton's Electrical Sector, which produces a range of power delivery products for use in the utility, commercial, industrial, mining, renewable energy and other markets.

The South Milwaukee plant employs about 480 workers. Eaton has approximately 102,000 employees worldwide and sells products in more than 175 countries.

Related Past Posts:
Four Significan Citations Announced Last Week
Fall Hazards, Lack of Guarding and LOTO Result In Citations
$2,300,000 Fine Announced by OSHA

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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