US Labor Department's OSHA cites Columbus, Ohio-based Buckeye Radiation
Oncology for failing to protect workers from lead, cadmium exposure
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Buckeye Radiation Oncology, an outpatient radiation therapy treatment facility in Columbus, 14 serious safety citations for failing to ensure employees who worked with lead-cadmium alloy were protected from respiratory, ingestion and absorption hazards. The company faces penalties of $58,200 as a result of a December 2010 inspection.
"Employers have a responsibility to ensure employees have safe working environments, which includes taking all necessary precautions to protect them from exposure to hazardous materials such as lead and cadmium alloy," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."
The violations for which the company has been cited include failing to implement a written respirator program with specific worksite procedures; provide protective work clothing and equipment to prevent potential lead and cadmium contamination of employees and their clothing; provide for the cleaning and laundering or disposal of protective equipment and clothing exposed to lead and cadmium; inform, in writing, employees and those who clean protective clothing of the harmful effects of exposure to lead and cadmium; maintain all surfaces as free as practicable of accumulations of lead and cadmium; use effective vacuum and filtration methods to remove lead and cadmium dust, and prevent their re-entry into the workplace. The company also was cited for failing to accurately record air monitoring for these substances, and to have a training program for employees educating them on the hazards of potential exposure to cadmium and lead. 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.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Columbus Area Office at 614-469-5582. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.
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.