Feb. 3, 2015
Plating shop exposes workers to serious cancer risk; other health hazards
OSHA fines Dallas' Lane Plating Works $110,200 for 21 violations
DALLAS – The dangers of worker exposure to hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen that can cause serious long-term health issues, including lung cancer and kidney failure, should have come as no surprise to the Lane Plating Works Inc. owner. Air-monitoring tests told him that workers were being overexposed to the dangerous toxin, but he failed to correct the hazard. As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the Dallas-based chrome plating shop for two willful violations and 19 serious violations. The proposed penalty totals $110,200.
"Workers had dangerous chemical residue on their clothing and labored in areas where unsafe levels of hexavalent chromium dust were found on work surfaces," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "By failing to address these hazards, Lane Plating Works' endangered the health and well-being of its employees and their families who were exposed when their loved ones came home with contaminated clothing."
OSHA initiated the complaint inspection under its National Emphasis Program for Hexavalent Chromium. Investigators found two willful violations and issued a citation and $56,000 penalty for failing to use controls to reduce employee exposure to hexavalent chromium and to monitor the chemical periodically.
The 19 serious violations, with a penalty of $54,200, were cited for failing to institute controls to reduce and maintain levels of hexavalent chromium below the permissible exposure limits and to train workers on the chemical's hazards. 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 exists.
View the citations at: https://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Lane_Plating_Works_Inc_989172_128_15.pdf*.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge, or contest the citations and 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 Dallas Area Office at 214-320-2400.
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.
Release Number: 15-42-DAL
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