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Region 3 News Release: 11-1757-PHI (osha 11-157)
Dec. 14, 2011
Contact: Leni Fortson      Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102      215-861-5101
Email: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov      hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Bernville, Pa., company
for exposing workers to lead hazards and other violations

BERNVILLE, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Refractory Installation and Construction Headquarters Inc. for exposing workers to dangerously high levels of lead at a Lyons Station work site and for other violations found during an inspection of the company's Bernville headquarters. Proposed fines total $54,600.

OSHA initiated an inspection after receiving a referral from the Pennsylvania Department of Health regarding an employee with blood containing an elevated level of lead.

Eleven serious violations carrying penalties of $53,900 have been cited for overexposing workers to lead and cadmium; respiratory program deficiencies; failing to implement a lead and cadmium compliance plan; failing to provide arsenic, lead, cadmium and respiratory training; not conducting air monitoring for arsenic and lead; failing to ensure that employees exposed to airborne lead and cadmium washed their hands and faces prior to drinking; not conducting medical surveillance and exams for workers exposed to lead and cadmium; not taking employee blood samples to determine lead levels; and not informing workers of medical removal protection benefits and provide those benefits to two employees. 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.

Four other-than-serious violations with $700 in penalties involve record-keeping violations. 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.

"Lead overexposure in the workplace can lead to serious adverse health problems," said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA's Harrisburg Area Office. "OSHA will not tolerate employers who jeopardize the safety and health of their workers."

Refractory Installation and Construction Headquarters Inc., a refractory installation, repair and replacement company, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed 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 Harrisburg office at 717-782-3902.

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.


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