Pride Plating Inc., located in Grove, Okla., was cited Sept. 4 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for exposing workers to cancer-causing health hazards from hexavalent chromium. The company received 38 violations with proposed penalties totaling $341,550. David Bates, OSHA’s area director in Oklahoma City, stated:
At Pride Plating, workers were exposed to hexavalent chromium through spray painting and dip tank operations, and in the lunchroom and smoking areas.
Nine repeat violations, with a penalty of $180,180, were mainly cited for chromium violations, including failure to provide safe personal protective equipment for workers exposed to chromium; demarcate regulated areas where chromium was sprayed; prevent ingestion of food and drinks and absorption of cigarettes in chromium-regulated areas; and properly train workers exposed to the facility’s chromium, caustics and corrosives. As we have previously explained, a repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in 2009.
With a penalty of $161,370, the remaining 29 violations – including 28 serious – were cited for failure to provide adequate walking and working surfaces; separate locker space and storage for street clothing and protective clothing; perform personal protective equipment hazard assessments; and guard power transmission belts. Respirator violations included failing to implement a respiratory program and fit test and ensure respirators were stored in a sanitary location. Chromium violations included failure to inform workers of their exposure records, provide adequate washing facilities and label chemical containers.
A serious violation, as we have mentioned previously, occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
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