Fiberdome Inc. cited by the US Department of Labor's OSHA for exposing
workers to airborne hazards at Lake Mills, Wis., manufacturing plant
LAKE MILLS, Wis. – Fiberdome Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 10 health violations and $49,500 in penalties following a March investigation of the Lake Mills fiberglass manufacturing plant. Workers were exposed to styrene-a chemical used extensively in the manufacture of plastics, rubber and resins-in excess of permissible limits.
OSHA initiated the inspection after receiving a referral alleging workers were experiencing respiratory irritation due to chemical exposure.
"Workers at this manufacturing plant continue to be exposed to chemical hazards that can cause severe respiratory illness," said Kim Stille, OSHA area director in Madison. "Companies must be aware of the hazards that exist in their facilities and take all possible precautions to minimize the risk of illness."
Seven serious violations include allowing worker exposure to airborne concentrations of styrene in excess of recommended exposure limits, as well as failing to develop a written respirator protection program and provide adequate respiratory protection and training to workers. Other violations involve failing to conduct a personal protection equipment hazards assessment and train workers on hazards associated with chemicals used in the factory; provide safety data sheets to a physician treating a worker for occupational illness; and to keep the production area free of excess fiberglass and styrene. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
Workers who make fiberglass products are potentially exposed to styrene. For more information on this chemical, see https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/styrene.
One repeat violation was cited for failing to require workers to use appropriate hand protection when exposed to hazardous chemicals. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A similar violation was cited in 2011 at the same facility.
Two other-than-serious violations were cited for record-keeping deficiencies and failing to properly label containers carrying hazardous chemicals. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Fiberdome Inc. 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.
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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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.