US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Fairless Hills, Pa., metal recycling
company nearly $50,000 for worker overexposure to lead and arsenic
FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Abington Reldan Metals LLC with 11 serious safety violations, including overexposing workers to dangerously high levels of lead and arsenic, at the company's Fairless Hills facility. OSHA initiated a December 2011 inspection following a referral from the Pennsylvania State Department of Health indicating that employees had high levels of lead in their blood. Proposed penalties total $48,600.
The violations include exposing employees to lead and arsenic above the permissible exposure limit as well as failing to implement adequate engineering controls to reduce exposures, ensure floors were cleaned using proper methods, require employees working with lead and arsenic to shower at the end of their work shifts, provide training on the hazards of arsenic and cadmium exposure, provide a designated training room for workers to remove contaminated clothing, provide a written housekeeping program for arsenic and written plans for arsenic and lead exposure control, establish a medical program for workers exposed to arsenic, and provide a regular monitoring program for those workers exposed to lead, arsenic and cadmium. 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.
"Abington Reldan Metals has a responsibility to ensure its employees have a safe working environment, which includes taking all necessary precautions to protect them from exposure to hazardous materials such as lead and arsenic," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Area Office in Allentown. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."
Detailed information about OSHA's standards on lead and arsenic can be found at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/lead/index.html and http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/arsenic/index.html.
Abington Reldan Metals LLC is a metal recycling plant that employs 86 workers at its Fairless Hills facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, 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 OSHA's Allentown office; telephone 267-429-7542.
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, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.