person in blue jumpsuit using eyewash station

Metal Plating Company Cited for Not Having Eyewash, Shower in Area for Employees Exposed to Chemicals

The company now faces citations for 13 violations and proposed penalties of around $292,000.

About $292,000 in penalties have been proposed for a metal plating company after OSHA found that employees who were exposed to corrosive chemicals did not have an eyewash station or shower in the area.

These employees of Arizona Traders Co. in El, Paso, Texas, faced exposure to three chemicals: hydrochloric acids, nitric acids and ferric chloride, per a news release and the citations. Hydrochloric acids can cause eye damage; Nitric acids can cause eye burns and permanent damage; and ferric chloride can lead to eye pain and blurred vision. Both safety data sheets for the acids list eye flushing as an “immediate” first aid measure.

During the inspection last September, OSHA also found the following:

  • blocked exits
  • electrical hazards
  • certain cylinders and respirators stored incorrectly
  • a lack of a written respiratory protection program and a written hazard communication program
  • some employees not using eye protection

Arizona Traders Co. received citations for one willful and 12 serious violations along with proposed penalties of $292,693.

The company was also cited more than 10 years ago in 2011 and 2012. Some of these citations were for “failing to provide employees a suitable facility for quick drenching of the eyes and body,” according to the news release.

"Arizona Traders Co. continues to ignore its responsibility to protect employees working with dangerous chemicals from potentially serious injuries, including permanent eye damage and possibly sight loss," said OSHA Area Director Diego Alvarado in El Paso, Texas in the news release. "This company must change the way it operates and make workplace safety a priority before a tragedy occurs. Arizona Traders’ failure to do so is troubling to say the least."

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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