Water Gremlin employs new guidelines for workplace safety ahead of reopening Tuesday

Employees at Water Gremlin will be heading back to the manufacturing plant in White Bear Township Monday, but they will not be going back to work just yet. 

The workers are required to attend special training before the plant can reopen where they will learn a new set of workplace safety rules.  

This comes one week after the state obtained a court order to shut the operation down over lead safety concerns. At least 12 children of Water Gremlin workers had high levels of lead in their blood. 

On Friday, a Ramsey County judge approved a plan to get Water Gremlin’s employees back to work. The judge is allowing the facility to reopen Tuesday as long as the company meets certain conditions, warning that if it does not comply, he will not hesitate to shut the place down again.

“It is all of our responsibility to make sure that not only Water Gremlin supervises properly, but they take some personal responsibility here to insure this is getting done correctly as well,” Judge Leonardo Castro said. 

Crews spent the weekend working on phase one of new guidelines for workplace safety, which included heavy cleaning of employees’ vehicles as well as the factory's cafeteria and locker rooms.

The plan also includes oversight and training under the watchful eye of an independent consultant specializing in the best lead safety practices.

Both sides will be back in court later this week to monitor the progress. 

On Monday, approximately 300 workers will be trained on a new "clean exit plan" and other upgraded safety procedures to make sure employees do not bring any lead home on their body or clothes.