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OSHA Regional News Brief
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Region 3


Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

 

May 10, 2016

 

Lehigh County indoor shooting range faces $135K in fines
for exposing workers to willful lead, noise hazards

OSHA names Higher Ground Tactical LLC 'a severe violator'

Employer name: Higher Ground Tactical LLC

Inspection site: 5402 Chestnut St., Emmaus, Pennsylvania

Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued four willful, eight serious, and two other-than-serious citations on May 3, 2016.

Inspection findings: The agency's complaint investigation found willful violations related to lead and noise hazards, including the company's failures to:

  • Use engineering or administrative controls where employees are exposed to excessive noise levels.
  • Implement a noise monitoring program.
  • Establish an audiometric testing program and evaluate hearing protection.
  • Train employees on the hazards of noise.
  • Conduct air monitoring for lead.
  • Establish a written lead compliance program.

For these hazards, OSHA placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA cited serious violations as the company did not:

  • Assess the employee's need for, or train them on the use of personal protective equipment.
  • Develop hazard communication or respirator protection plans.
  • Implement engineering and work practice controls in areas where lead exceeded OSHA's permissible exposure limits.
  • Provide protective work clothing.
  • Ensure employees consumed food and beverages in lead-free areas.
  • Ensure employees removed contaminated clothing before leaving the worksite.

The other-than-serious citations involved failure to post a copy of the noise standard in the workplace or post warning signs in areas where lead levels exceeded OSHA's permissible exposure limits.

Quote: "Indoor shooting range employers are well aware that noise and lead are common hazards in their industry. Higher Ground Tactical failed to take seriously its responsibility to ensure a safe and healthful workplace by failing to protect workers from hazardous overexposure to noise and lead," said Jean Kulp, OSHA's area director in Allentown.

Proposed penalties: $135,200

The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/HigherGroundTacticalLLC_1104613_0503_16.pdf

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Allentown Area Office at 267-429-7542.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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Media Contacts:

Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101, hawkins.joanna@dol.gov
Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102, uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-900-PHI (osha 15-051))


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