Response to Chemical Spill Prompts $171,000 OSHA Fine for Wisconsin Business

What OSHA is describing as a "dangerous clean-up operation" following a 33-gallon spill of muriatic acid at Solvox Mfg. Co., a subsidiary of Brookfield, Wis.-based Hydrite Chemical Co., has resulted in a proposed fine of $171,000 and workplace safety and health violations issued by OSHA.

OSHA opened an inspection in November 2004 at Solvox after receiving information that workers allegedly were assisting in the emergency response, neutralization and clean-up of the spill without being provided proper personal protective equipment or training in emergency response. Muriatic acid is highly corrosive and may cause severe burns to all body tissue.

OSHA issued three willful and four serious violations to Solvox, alleging that workers engaged in the clean-up were not provided appropriate personal protective equipment and were not properly trained in emergency response procedures.

Solvox manufactures organic chemicals, polishes and sanitation goods, paints, varnishes, lacquers, enamels and allied products. Approximately 40 workers are employed at the Milwaukee facility, according to OSHA.

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