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Fabricator Paint Shop Draws OSHA Case

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

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Combustible liquids left in spray booths, electrical hazards in the Dip Tank Paint Building, respirator lapses, and an ersatz sprinkler system for the finishing operations head a list of 20 health and safety violations that have drawn a Wisconsin steel fabricator a six-figure federal case.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also reported training, personal protection and amputation hazards by Koser Iron Works Inc., of Barron, WI.


The allegations against Koser Iron Works include respirator violations in the painting operation.

The inspection Oct. 1, 2014, has resulted in fines totaling $102,180 for two willful, four repeat, 12 serious and two other safety violations in spray operations and other areas.


The citations allege a wide variety of violations, including multiple issues similar to 10 citations issued to the company in 2013.

The allegations include:

  • Use of industrial trucks in the paint building that were not inspected or approved for use in atmospheres containing flammable liquids;
  • Lack of fit testing and medical evaluations for paint line employees required to wear respirators;
  • Lack of lockout/tagout for equipment being serviced or maintained; and
  • Lack of guarding on several pieces of equipment.

Koser could not be reached Monday (April 7). A local newspaper reported in December that the company had closed. OSHA records show that the company is pursuing an informal settlement and payment plan with OSHA, with fines tentatively reduced to $71,526.


The company has been cited repeatedly for lockout-tagout violations.

In the 2013 case, the company settled $23,400 in fines for $17,550, records show.

Paying the Price

"Workers pay the price when companies fail to follow safety standards," said Mark Hysell, OSHA's area director in Eau Claire.

"Machine hazards are among the most frequently cited by OSHA. All manufacturers should examine their procedures to ensure they are in compliance.

"It takes seconds for a worker to be severely injured, but often a lifetime to recover."


Tagged categories: Enforcement; Health & Safety; Health and safety; North America; OSHA; Shop-applied coatings; Spray booths; Steel

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