Brooklyn company exposes workers to unsafe lead, noise, and chemical hazards, OSHA finds

Manufacturer facing $105K in fines

Posted May 10, 2016

Responding to a report of an elevated blood lead level in a machinist at a Brooklyn brass plumbing fittings manufacturer, OSHA found that employees at the facility lacked adequate protections against lead exposure, hearing loss, and hazardous chemicals.

Specifically, OSHA found that the company failed to:

  • Train employees about lead hazards and provide them proper protective clothing.
  • Prevent lead from accumulating on surfaces in the plant.
  • Prohibit employees from consuming food and drink in lead contaminated areas.
  • Conduct initial monitoring to determine employees' lead exposure levels.

OSHA also found that the plant lacked effective hearing conservation and chemical hazard communication programs. These violations encompassed:

  • Not instituting controls to reduce noise levels.
  • Not providing employees a choice for hearing protection.
  • Lack of proper training, supervision, and fittings for hearing protectors.
  • The absence of hazard communication training and chemical safety data sheets.

Finally, OSHA stated that the company failed to review, post the annual summary, and certify its 2015 OSHA illness and injury log. These are two critical means of determining possible illness and injury patterns among plant workers.

As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited the company on April 19 for one willful, six serious, and two other than serious violations of workplace health standards. Proposed fines total $105,600.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


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