The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a September 28th news release citing allegations that R. Stresau Laboratory Inc.(“RSL”) failed to comply with certain federal safety standards.

The news release states that RSL is an explosive component manufacturer located in Spooner, Wisconsin that produces components used by the defense industry to build missiles and warheads.

RSL allegedly failed to comply with OSHA standards related to the protection of employees from exposure to lead used in the production process. The company allegedly failed to comply with certain standards when it started a new production line at this facility.

OSHA states that the company allegedly failed:

. . .to implement a combination of engineering, work practice and respiratory protection controls. By doing so, the employer exposed about 40 employees to lead. Personal and wipe sampling conducted by OSHA found four employees were overexposed – two above the action level and two over the permissible exposure limit.

Other alleged violations included:

  • Failure to follow respiratory protection requirements, including fit-testing employees, identifying and evaluating respiratory hazards;
  • Failure to conduct preventative maintenance checks on ventilation systems;
  • Failure to require the use of personal protective equipment;
  • Failure to provide changing rooms and showers for employees exposed to lead hazards to prevent cross-contamination and lead dust leaving the facility.

OSHA proposes $143,576 in penalties.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an information conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

A copy of the news release can be downloaded here.