Penn Hills, Pa., lead abatement company fined by US Labor Department's
OSHA for exposing workers to lead hazards at Pittsburgh work site
PENN HILLS, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited N.E.J. Abatement Group Inc. for six serious violations involving lead hazards at a Pittsburgh work site. An April inspection was prompted by a referral from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and conducted by OSHA under its National Emphasis Program on Lead. Proposed penalties total $16,800.
The violations include exposure to lead above the permissible exposure limit, a lack of adequate engineering and administrative controls, lack of a lead compliance program, failure to conduct initial biological monitoring, conduct initial lead sampling, implement the required respiratory protection program elements and post lead warning signs. The company also failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment, shower facilities and change areas, medical surveillance to workers exposed to lead and fit tests respirator usage. 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.
"Overexposure to lead is a leading cause of workplace illness and can result in a wide range of debilitating medical conditions," said Christopher Robinson, director of the OSHA Pittsburgh Area Office. "The most effective way to minimize worker exposure is through engineering controls, best safety practices, training, and the use of personal protective clothing and equipment such as respirators where required."
Detailed information about OSHA's standards on lead can be found at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/lead/index.html.
N.E.J. Abatement Group has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Pittsburgh, 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 Pittsburgh Area Office at 412-395-4903.
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.
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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 303-693-7838 or TTY 303-693-7755.