Pride Plating Inc. in Grove, Okla., was cited on Sept. 4 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing workers to cancer-causing health hazards from hexavalent chromium. The company received 38 violations with proposed penalties totaling $341,550.
“At Pride Plating, workers were exposed to hexavalent chromium through spray painting and dip tank operations, and in the lunchroom and smoking areas,” said David Bates, OSHA’s area director in Oklahoma City.
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.
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 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.
Pride Plating employs about 110 workers in Grove. It had 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Oklahoma City, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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