OH Firm Cited for Using Inferior Coatings
Shelby, Ohio-based company was recently cited for using an epoxy paint that wasn’t in compliance with Ohio state transportation standards, according to the state’s watchdog agency.
In April of last year, a referral from the Ohio Department of Transportation to the Office of the Inspector General alleged that one of the ODOT’s subcontractors, Lloyd Rebar Co. was using a substandard epoxy coating, latex paint, on steel reinforcements meant for bridge construction that could ultimately result in a failure of steel bridge supports.
The complaint focused around the company's touch-ups of Greenbar—an epoxy-coated reinforcement steel commonly used for its protection against de-icing salts. (During construction, when Greenbar is cut or blemished during delivery or installation, the product must be touched-up with the same epoxy coating that the Greenbar was manufactured with.)
In mid-April, investigators conducted an unannounced inspection of Lloyd Rebar’s fabrication facility to further explore the accuracy of the complaint.
"During the inspection, investigators did not observe any latex paint; however, investigators found a can of Sherwin-Williams epoxy paint," the report states.
According to Max Hartings, Vice President of Lloyd Rebar, the can was the type of coating employees use to touch up Greenbar products.
However, investigators report that the epoxy paint wasn’t in compliance with ODOT or ASTM standards for use with Greenbar on ODOT projects.
In the investigative report issued the following month, Lloyd Rebar stated that it was incapable of obtaining proper epoxy patching materials from its manufacturer due to federal regulations involving hazardous shipping. Lloyd Rebar also claimed it was not a distributor for Valspar or 3M and consequently, was unable to acquire proper epoxy patching material.
However, state investigators were able to locate multiple suppliers of 3M epoxy paint only 11 miles away from the facility. Jared Mawhorr, co-owner of Lloyd Rebar, said the Office of the Inspector General failed to inform the company of those suppliers.
Mawhorr went on to say in a phone interview that the company had “made a mistake” and that his employees only used the epoxy on the “cut ends” of the rebar that had been delivered, pre-coated.
"We're not the only ones that have ever had this issue," he said.
By Aug. 13, 2018, ODOT removed Lloyd Rebar from its Certified Supplier Program for a minimum of 180 days.
In concluding the investigation, the Office of the Inspector General stated that they were unable to determine if employees had hidden paint and sprayers from ODOT employees during the on-site inspections and suggested that more unannounced inspections be performed.
Lloyd Rebar is currently working on becoming recertified with ODOT’s Certified Supplier Program.