Both state and federal lawmakers in Wisconsin have contacted government agencies to investigate environmental and workplace concerns at several industrial drum reconditioning plants located in the Milwaukee area.
According to several lawmakers, operations at multiple Mid-America Steel Drum locations pose a risk to both workers as well as people who live in the local area. At these plants, chemical containers are both refurbished and recycled.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore are at the forefront of the battle, with both Democrats concerned about a recently completed investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The investigation found that these Container Life Cycle Management (CLCM) facilities have overlooked safety practices for handling hazardous materials. Subsequently, anyone in close contact with the facilities is at risk of illness. Furthermore, the environment as a whole could be impacted.
In the past, plant workers have suffered injuries as the result of exploding barrels. They’ve also suffered breathing difficulties, heat burns and chemical burns.
Making matters even worse, the safety manager at the Milwaukee plan noted that chemical residue was washed down a floor drain that is meant for wastewater.
Unfortunately, there are times when workers have no idea of what is going on within their company. Instead, they assume that everything is safe and that they are not being put in a dangerous position.
If you’re injured on the job for any reason, you need to report the incident to your employer and then learn why this happened. This will put you on the path to receive workers’ compensation benefits while you recover.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Wisconsin lawmakers call for quick action to protect workers, residents from barrel refurbishing plants ,,” Raquel Rutledge and Rick Barrett, Feb. 24, 2017