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Military Explosives Manufacturer in Wisconsin Facing Nearly $143,000 in Penalties from OSHA

A military explosives manufacturer in Wisconsin is facing nearly $143,000 in OSHA penalties, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection found R. Stresau Laboratory Inc. failed to implement a combination of engineering, work practice and respiratory protection controls.

According to a release by the Department of Labor, the employer exposed about 40 employees to lead. Personal and wipe sampling conducted by OSHA found four employees were overexposed.

Stresau produces components used by the defense industry to build missiles and warheads.

The company currently has a contract with the U.S. Navy.

On Sept. 23, 2016, OSHA proposed $143,576 in penalties after citing one willful violation, eight serious violations and one other-than-serious violation.

“OSHA found that employees were breathing in significant amounts of lead and had elevated blood lead levels. Elevated levels can cause debilitating and permanent health issues,” said Mark Hysell, OSHA’s area director in Eau Claire. “R. Stresau ignored federal regulations when it failed to conduct air monitoring for lead and allowed the use of respiratory protection to be voluntary when it should have been required as a health precaution.”

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

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