Amid Tragedy – Faultless Honored for Compliance

Posted April 27, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Faultless COO Mark Spence receives two Gold Awards from the Missouri Water Environment Association for an outstanding record of environmental compliance by the company's two St. Louis plants.

While still mourning the loss of three colleagues who died after a hot water tank from a neighboring factory crashed into their building on April 3, staff at Faultless Healthcare Linen’s two St. Louis plants recently got a welcome distraction. Both facilities, including the 2030 Broadway location where the fatal incident occurred, were recognized for excellence in wastewater management with Gold Awards from the Missouri Water Environment Association (MWEA).

“We are very proud of this recognition,” said COO Mark Spence. “While we continue to grieve for our lost staff members, it’s great to see the employees of these two plants recognized for doing their part to protect the environment.”

An investigation into the water tank incident by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the federal Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is continuing, according to news reports.

Preliminary findings indicate that a nearly 3,000-lb. 25-foot long tank, known as a vertical condensate storage tank, malfunctioned in a way that created tremendous pressure. A buildup of condensate/steam in the lower end of the tank led to an explosion that launched it through the roof of the Loy-Lange Box Co. It then flew some 515 feet before crashing into the Faultless plant’s office on Broadway.

Fatalities in the incident included a Loy-Lange employee, Kenneth Trentham; and three newly hired Faultless staffers, Christopher Watkins, Tonya Suarez Gonzalez and Clifford Lee. A fourth victim at the box plant also was critically injured. The steam tank was removed on April 19 by OSHA and the CSB. The agencies are seeking clues as to what caused the incident. Click here for details.

As for the MWEA recognition program, the two Faultless St. Louis plants got their Gold Awards during a March 27 ceremony at Tan-Tar-A Resort at Lake of the Ozarks, Osage Beach, MO. Spence accepted the awards on behalf of Faultless. The event drew a crowd of nearly 500 people.

The criteria for receiving an MWEA Gold award include having a full year of 100% compliance with all pollutant limitations and other permit requirements. In addition, the facility must have maintained 100% compliance with all reporting rules. That includes submitting complete reports to the POTW by the due date. Click here for more information on the MWEA and its award program.