The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited U.S. Battery Manufacturing of Augusta, Ga., for alleged safety and health violations observed during inspections conducted in November 2005 and June 2006. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $50,200.
OSHA issued two failure-to-abate citations with proposed penalties totaling $33,600. One citation specified that company employees were exposed to lead concentrations greater than the permissible levels. The second citation noted that the company failed to implement engineering controls and work practices to reduce employee exposure to lead.
"This employer had ample time to reduce employee exposure to lead, but chose to take no corrective action to protect workers," said Gei-Thae Breezley, OSHA's Atlanta-East area director. "The company also received information about engineering controls and how to petition for a modification of abatement."
U.S. Battery Manufacturing also received two repeat citations with proposed penalties totaling $12,600. The citations included failing to implement a respiratory protection program and allowing lead to accumulate in break-room areas. A serious citation with a proposed penalty of $4,000 was issued for failing to make medical examinations and consultations available for each employee exposed to lead.
The company, a manufacturer of batteries for golf carts and other battery-powered equipment, has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.