US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Georgia-based Exide Technologies for
exposing workers to dangerous levels of lead at Frisco, Texas, facility
FRISCO, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Exide Technologies for one serious and one repeat violation at the company's battery recycling facility on South Fifth Street in Frisco. OSHA initiated a Feb. 7 safety and health inspection after receiving a referral that alleged workers were being exposed to lead while recycling lead batteries. Proposed penalties total $77,000.
"This company should have implemented engineering and work practice controls to prevent workers from being exposed to hazardous concentrations of lead," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "OSHA's standards must be followed to prevent injuries and fatalities."
The serious violation was cited for failing to ensure that employees who worked more than eight hours during a workday were not exposed to lead at concentrations greater than the reduced permissible exposure limit. 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 repeat violation was cited for failing to prevent exposure to lead at concentrations greater than 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an eight-hour period, and failing to implement engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain employees' exposure to lead. 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. OSHA cited the company's Fort Smith, Ark., facility in June 2008 and its Laureldale, Pa., facility in January 2009 for similar violations with proposed penalties of $36,600 and $52,400, respectively.
Detailed information on the hazards of working with lead is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/lead.
Milton, Ga.-based Exide Technologies, one of the world's largest producers, distributors and recyclers of lead-acid batteries, employs about 125 workers at its Frisco facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Dallas Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Dallas office at 214-320-2400. To report workplace accidents, 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.