Procino Enterprises Uses No Cost Delaware Office of Safety and Health On-Site Consultation Services to Reduce Hexavalent Chromium


Company: Procino Enterprises
Location: Blades, Delaware
NAICS Code: 339999 - All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing
Employees: 14

Procino Enterprises is a small, family owned and operated, hard chrome plating and griddle manufacturing company, located in Blades, Delaware. Hard chrome plating is used for a variety of surfaces in the industrial and food industry because of its durable hard surface and excellent wear resistance. After hearing about on-site consultation services from another local business, Procino Enterprises decided to request assistance from the Delaware Office of Safety and Health Consultation (OSHC). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), On-Site Consultation Program, offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies, such as Delaware OSHC or universities, work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs.

Although the company had hexavalent chromium sampling performed in the past, and results were below the OSHA exposure limits, the Delaware OSHCindustrial hygienist recommended re-sampling because of the company’s increased production demands. The re-sampling results revealed an over exposure to hexavalent chromium in the plating area. The Delaware OSHC industrial hygienist and company management discussed options to control the exposure. Recommendations included engineering and work practice controls ranging from replacing the ventilation system to implementing a chrome control plan, conducting employee training, and implementing an interim respiratory protection program. All recommendations were implemented immediately.

Committed to making a safe and healthful workplace for their employees, Procino Enterprises ultimately purchased and installed a new ventilation system for the plating area. The ventilation improvement, however, took time and money. To protect employees during this period, the interim respiratory protection program included abatement measures, such as implementing the chrome control plan and conducting employee training, along with the aforementioned recommendations. In addition, the company changed their fume suppressant. Follow-up sampling of the area confirmed that employee exposure levels were successfully reduced well below the action level (or permissible exposure limits).

Owner, Mike Procino, told the Delaware OSHC industrial hygienist that although changing the ventilation system was already in the works, having the on-site consultation pushed up the timeline on this project and ensured adequate worker ventilation was included within the design was beneficial. He added, "The largest advantage Procino Enterprises has seen from using the Delaware OSHC services is the change within the safety culture."

Procino Enterprises has shown an interest in participating in the OSHA Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), and preliminary discussion has begun between the owners and Delaware OSHC. This program recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program services and operate exemplary safety and health programs. Acceptance of a worksite into SHARP from OSHA is an achievement of status that singles the company out among its business peers as a model for worksite safety and health.

Summing up his experience, Mr. Procino states, "This service is invaluable for small companies that do not have the on-site resources to come into compliance with OSHA standards."

To locate the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program nearest you, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit www.osha.gov/consultation.

Source: Mike Procino, Owner, Procino Enterprises