Quest Specialty Coatings is facing a fine of $132,800 for eight safety violations for one willful, two repeat and five serious safety violations after three separate fires at the aerosol paint and coatings manufacturer in Menomonee Falls, WI, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Violations, which came about after a May 1 inspection, were for not meeting Process Safety Management Standards, which contain specific requirements for managing highly hazardous chemicals in work processes. Quest Specialty Coatings employs 130 workers.
“Quest Specialty Coatings has a responsibility to ensure the safe operation of its plant by making sure employees are trained in the hazards of manufacturing paints,” said Chris Zortman, OSHA’s area director in Milwaukee. “Workers should not be put at risk because this company failed to implement required protections.”
OSHA issued one willful violation for failing to conduct necessary inspections and tests on emergency fire control, bypass and relief valves to ensure they were mechanically sound and not dangerous to operators. The company failed to follow recommended inspection timetables for pumps and motors, OSHA said. 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.
The company received two repeat citations for failing to develop complete and accurate operating procedures and compile necessary process safety information. The company received citations for similar violations in 2012 at this same facility.
Quest Specialty Coatings failed to address the potential for static accumulation and discharge and train employees in the equipment processes and emergency shutdown procedures for the machines they were operating. The company did not ensure procedures to maintain mechanical integrity ended up performed, such as inspecting valves and pipes. In addition, the company failed to inspect procedures and train workers on the hazards of servicing and maintenance, resulting in five serious violations.
An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.