Milwaukee Valve Manufacturer Fined for Exposing Employees to Lead and Copper Dust

Lead and Copper Dust

PRAIRIE DU SAC, WI – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Milwaukee Valve Company Inc. – based in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin – for exposing employees to lead and copper dust at rates higher than the permissible exposure levels. The company is facing $171,628 in penalties.

The citation follows a July 2019 inspection, whereby the company was cited by OSHA for:

  • Failure to implement adequate engineering and work practice controls to reduce employee exposure to lead;
  • Failure to train foundry employees on the hazards of lead and cadmium exposure; and
  • Violations related to respiratory protection, and walking and working surfaces.

According to OSHA Madison Area Director Chad Greenwood, “Chronic exposures to lead, copper and other metal dust can result in long-term health issues, such as lung and nervous system damage. Employers must provide personal protective equipment to employees working with toxic metals, and take appropriate steps to minimize worker exposure.

OSHA’s Lead and Cadmium pages provide useful information relating to the health effects associated with exposure to these metals, and the various options for controlling such exposures.

Milwaukee Valve Company Inc. has 15 business days to appeal against these citations and penalties.

Published on: January 15, 2020