July 7, 2016
OSHA cites Amerway for again overexposing employees to lead hazards
at Altoona manufacturing facility; failing to provide respiratory protection
Employer name: Amerway Inc., an industrial soldering and metal brazing manufacturer
Inspection site: 3701 Beale Ave., Altoona, Pennsylvania
Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to Amerway Inc. on July 1, 2016, for three repeat and four serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation.
Inspection findings: OSHA initiated an inspection on March 9, 2016, as part of the agency's national emphasis programs for lead and primary metal industries. As was the case in October 2011, OSHA cited Amerway again for violations related to exposing workers to unsafe levels of lead, and for respiratory protection failures.
The serious citations relate to the employer's failure to:
- Implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls to reduce and maintain employee exposures to lead below the permissible exposure level.
- Institute a medical surveillance program for employees exposed to lead above the action level for more than 30 days per year, to include biological monitoring in the form of blood sampling and analysis for lead and zinc protoporphyrin.
- Provide a medical evaluation to employees required to utilize a tight-fitting respirator while working in a regulated area.
The other-than-serious violation was due to hazardous chemical labeling deficiencies.
Quote: "Amerway still has not taken adequate steps to protect its workers from the debilitating medical conditions related to lead overexposure, which is inexcusable," said Christopher Robinson, director of the OSHA Pittsburgh Area Office. "The most effective way to minimize worker lead exposure is through engineering controls, medical surveillance, training and the use of personal protective clothing and equipment such as respirators."
Proposed penalties: $49,000
The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AmerwayInc_1131327.pdf
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 Pittsburgh Area Office at 412-395-4903.
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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Release Number: 16-1342-PHI (osha 16-085)
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