Region 6 News Release: 10-655-DAL
May 13, 2010
Contact: Elizabeth Todd
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Grapevine, Texas-based
machine company for failing to protect workers from lead exposure
HALTOM CITY, Texas — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Fore Machine Co. in Grapevine, Texas, with one alleged willful and 10 alleged serious violations for failing to protect employees when working with lead. Proposed penalties total $72,750.
"Exposure to high levels of lead can produce toxic conditions to organs and tissues in the body," said Zachary Barnett, OSHA's area director in Fort Worth, Texas. "OSHA's standards must be followed to avoid illness and injury, and employees must be informed of those standards."
OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office began its inspection Dec.15, 2009, at the company's facility at 5912 Eden Drive in Haltom City following a complaint that employees working with lead had been diagnosed with elevated blood lead levels. OSHA cited the employer with one willful violation for failing to conduct an initial determination for employees exposed to lead. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Serious violations include failing to implement an adequate respiratory protection program, to provide respiratory protection, to conduct proper fit testing, to provide medical evaluations for employees required to wear a respirator and to provide training on the use of respirators. Serious citations are issued when death or serious injury could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Fort Worth or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office at 817-428-2470 or the agency's hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
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 assure 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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