Fiberdome Inc. agrees to limit employee exposure to styrene, accept general
duty clause citation issued by OSHA at Lake Mills, Wis., fiberglass plant.
Agreement resolves OSHA violations issued for exposing worker to hazardous chemical
LAKE MILLS, Wis. – Fiberdome Inc. has agreed to limit employee exposure to styrene, pay a $2,000 penalty and accept a general duty clause citation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act alleging that an employee was exposed to styrene over the industry agreed-upon level. The agreement resolves all outstanding citations issued to Fiberdome in September 2013 by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Styrene, a chemical used extensively in the manufacture of plastics, rubber and resins is used by Fiberdome at its Lake Mills-based fiberglass manufacturing plant. It can cause health effects such as headache, fatigue, confusion, difficulty in concentrating, a feeling of intoxication and respiratory problems.
"We are pleased that Fiberdome agreed to adopt the industry recognized 50 ppm limit and believe that all responsible and safety conscious employers who use styrene should consider doing the same thing," said Kim Stille, OSHA Area Director in Madison. "OSHA believes that employers have the responsibility to further limit exposure to chemicals that can harm employees even if the level of such exposure is below OSHA permissible exposure limits. "
Under the terms of the agreement, Fiberdome will abate the general duty citation by following the styrene industry's 1996 agreement to voluntarily adopt an employee exposure limit of 50 ppm over an 8-hour time weighted average. Fiberdome further agreed that if it cannot achieve compliance with a voluntary exposure limit through engineering and/or administrative controls, it will implement an effective respiratory protection program, including the use of appropriate respirators.
OSHA cited Fiberdome for a general duty clause violation in September 2013 for exposing a worker to styrene levels that were measured at 1.3 times the industry agreed-upon level, even though the airborne concentration of the chemical didn't violate OSHA's permissible exposure limit of 100 parts per million. OSHA initiated the inspection after receiving a referral relating to workers being ill.
To report workplace accidents, 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 Madison office at 608-441-5388.
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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