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Region 5 News Release: 14-663-CHI
April 29, 2014
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:       312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Cooper Power Systems $166,000
after multiple workers injured by acid mixture at South Milwaukee plant

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Following injuries to seven workers at Cooper Power Systems LLC, including chemical burns to the skin and irritation to their respiratory tracts requiring urgent medical treatment, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration 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.

"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."

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 f