US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Bayonne, NJ, small arms manufacturer
for lead, safety and health hazards
BAYONNE, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Henry RAC Holding Corp. with four repeat and four serious safety and health violations, including workers exposed to lead hazards, at the company's Bayonne facility. The inspection was initiated in September 2012 after health hazards were discovered during an earlier OSHA safety inspection at the facility. Proposed penalties total $72,000.
Carrying a $46,800 penalty, the repeat violations include failing to develop and implement a written respiratory protection program for lead exposure; medically evaluate, conduct fit tests and provide annual training on the proper fit, use, limitation and maintenance for half mask negative pressure respirators to protect against lead; make an initial determination on whether lead exposure was above the action level; ensure surfaces were maintained as free as practicable from lead accumulation; develop and implement a hazard communication program on chemical hazards; and provide training to workers on chemical hazards. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The same violations were cited in 2008.
The serious violations, with a $25,200 penalty, involve failing to implement a hearing conservation program and training program and provide annual audiograms for workers exposed to noise above 85 and 90 decibels; properly store a respirator to prevent its exposure to chemicals, such as lead; implement a medical surveillance program for workers who may be exposed to lead above the action level; provide medical surveillance at no cost to the worker; and make medical surveillance available upon a worker's notification of signs and symptoms of lead intoxication. A serious citation is issued 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.
"Exposure to lead and noise in the firearms manufacturing industry has been well-known for decades" said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's area office in Parsippany. "OSHA's standards must be followed to protect workers from exposure that can lead to lead-related illness and occupational hearing loss."
Detailed information about OSHA's standards on lead can be found at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/lead/index.html.
Henry RAC Holding Corp. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Parsippany, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Parsippany Area Office at 973-263-1003.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA¿s role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America¿s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
# # #
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.