Composites factory facing $442,150 in OSHA penalties

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed a combined total of $442,150 in fines against Globe Composite Solutions Ltd. and ADP TotalSource II Inc. for alleged violations of health and safety standards at the companies' Rockland, Mass., composite materials research, development, manufacturing and assembly facility.

"The inspection identified inadequate or absent safeguards against employees' exposure to lead and its attendant health hazards, including failure to conduct required monitoring, follow basic lead hygiene procedures and ensure adequate respiratory protection," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts.

Specifically, the companies did not conduct required air and biological monitoring to determine and track employees' lead exposure levels; did not prevent employee overexposure to lead; did not implement adequate controls to reduce lead exposure; did not keep work surfaces and floors as clean of lead accumulation as possible; failed to equip the ventilation system with backup HEPA filters and lead monitoring equipment; lacked adequate respiratory protection programs, procedures, equipment and training; allowed respirators and protective suits to be stored in lead contaminated areas; did not provide clean change rooms, showers and an appropriate lunchroom for lead exposed employees; did not prevent employees from wearing lead contaminated clothing home and in the lunch room; and did not provide lead hazard training.

Both companies also have been cited for lack of personal protective equipment; incomplete lockout/tagout program and training; and lack of a comprehensive written chemical hazard communication program and training. In addition, Globe Composite Solutions was cited for failing to provide safe work practices training and protective equipment for employees performing electrical work and for inadequate or inaccurate injury and illness recording.

All told, Globe Composite Solutions faces $209,500 in proposed fines for two willful, 41 serious and six other-than-serious violations while ADP TotalSource II faces $232,650 in fines for two willful, 29 serious and one other-than-serious violations. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. Serious citations are issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and proposed penalties to comply, participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


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