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Region 4 News Release: USDL: 99-72
Wednesday, May 5, 1999
Contact: Lawrence Falck
PHONE : (813) 626-1177
OSHA CITES TARPON SPRINGS, FLA., COMPANY FOR LEAD EXPOSURE VIOLATIONS; PROPOSES PENALTIES TOTALING $164,000
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited Damalos & Sons, Inc., and proposed penalties totaling $164,000 for violations of the agency's construction lead standard.
According to Lawrence Falck, OSHA's Tampa area director, Damalos & Sons has been inspected and cited for 14 repeat and 38 serious violations since it began operating in 1992. Most of the citations were issued for violations in connection with OSHA's construction lead standard. The company, headquartered in Tarpon Springs, Fla., employs 40 workers to perform lead paint removal and to repaint industrial structures.
All violations found during this inspection were related to lead exposure. Penalties totaling $112,000 were proposed for two willful citations issued because Damalos & Sons failed to officially record cases where employees' blood lead exceeded permissible levels and did not conduct lead air monitoring or, as an alternative, maintain employees' lead air monitoring exposure records.
The single repeat violation drew a proposed penalty of $40,000 for the employer's failure to provide the required medical examinations for employees with elevated blood lead levels. In addition, records of the medical exams were not kept.
The remaining three serious violations, with total penalties of $12,000, included failure to provide monthly biological monitoring for employees placed on medical removal protection because their lead levels were too high. It also dealt with the company's failure to notify employees of their blood lead level monitoring results and to provide workers with copies of written medical reports about detected medical conditions and recommended limitations.
"Exposure to lead can have serious and sometimes permanently disabling consequences," said Falck. " Despite the fact that the owner and all site supervisors are certified and are designated as 'competent persons' to oversee deleading operations, this company continues its history of non-compliance with the OSHA lead standard," said Falck.
Falck added, "When blood lead records are inaccurate, workers may not receive adequate medical surveillance and treatment for lead intoxication. In addition, improper record keeping can also mean that the number of employees suffering from elevated blood lead may be higher than the number reported by the company."
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
A repeat violation occurs when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Serious violations are ones in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The inspection of records at Damalos and Sons' headquarters site was conducted by OSHA's area office located at 5807 Breckenridge Parkway, Suite A, Tampa, Fla. 33610-4249; telephone: (813) 626-1177.
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