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The alleged failure to protect its employees from potential safety and health hazards has brought El Dorado Metals $69,500 in proposed penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following an inspection at the company's worksite on Pellizzari Place in El Dorado, Ark.
"Failure to implement OSHA's standards and regulations to prevent potential hazards associated with lead exposure is unacceptable," said Carlos Reynolds, OSHA's area director in Little Rock, Ark. "We are hopeful that corrective action will be taken immediately to prevent injuries or accidents."
El Dorado Metals employs about 26 workers, 10 of whom were present at the time of the inspection. OSHA's Little Rock Area Office began its investigation February 9 as part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Lead and found 26 alleged serious violations.
These serious violations include failing to ensure employees are not exposed to lead levels greater than the permissible exposure limit (PEL), provide medical evaluations for employees exposed to lead levels greater than the PEL, develop and implement a written compliance program to reduce employee exposure to lead, ensure medical evaluations were performed on employees required to wear respirators and provide training for forklift operators. OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which 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 company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Little Rock or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.