Quad/Graphics Cleared in Lomira, WI, Plant Fire

LOMIRA, WI—Quad/Graphics has been cleared by both the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce (DOC) for any responsibility in the July 12, 2002, collapse and subsequent fire at the printer’s Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) in Lomira, WI.

In its report, the DOC found deficiencies in the design, engineering supervision, welder qualifications and materials used by professionals and contractors hired to erect the ASRS.

ASRS Building

The ASRS building, which was more than 700 feet long and 100,000 square feet, was built in 2002. It had a capacity of 30,008 pallets. Six crane aisles housed six storage retrieval machines, according to the company, which delivered product to one of two delivery points.

Catalogs, Magazines Lost

Catalogs for L.L. Bean, Cabela’s and Reliable Office Supplies were in the storage area at the time of the fire, thus fueling the fire that continued to burn for six days.

OSHA confirmed that Quad/Graphics had not created any workplace-related conditions at the Lomira facility that exposed workers to unsafe working conditions. OSHA closed its investigation in January. No fines or penalties were issued to Quad/Graphics by either OSHA or the DOC.

Also included in the DOC report was a citation concerning an audible alarm system located within the ASRS. Though the final wiring was still being completed, the sprinklers and main alarm system were fully operational and notified the 330 employees in the building of the fire. However, one worker was killed as a result of the fire. Keith Freiberg, 22, perished when the 10-story warehouse collapsed upon the vehicle in which he was sitting. Freiberg, an outside-contract worker, had just finished his shift with Aero Building Maintenance, Quad/Graphics’ cleaning service.

Tom Quadracci, president and CEO of Quad/Graphics, was pleased with both OSHA’s and the DOC’s findings. “We are pleased to have cooperated with OSHA and the Department of Commerce throughout their investigations. We are gratified to know that the collapse and fire were not the result of any violations or improper actions on the part of Quad/Graphics or its employees,” he remarks.

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