Two Texas Companies Cited for Exposing Workers to Lead

OSHA has cited Fortune Plastic and Metal Texas LLC with six alleged serious and six alleged repeat violations following a safety and health inspection at the company's worksite in Dallas. Proposed penalties total $125,000.

"This company should have implemented engineering and work practice controls to prevent workers from being exposed to lead poisoning," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "OSHA's standards must be followed to prevent injuries and fatalities."

OSHA began its inspection on May 12 at the company's worksite in Dallas after receiving a complaint alleging workers were being exposed to lead while cutting lead cable that was to be recycled.

The serious violations include failing to ensure open-sided floors and platforms were guarded, monitor employee exposure to lead at required frequency, and notify employees of their exposure monitoring results. A serious violation is 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.

Repeat violations include failing to develop, document, and use procedures to control potentially hazardous energy; use flexible cords and/or cables as a substitute for fixed wiring; prevent exposure to lead at concentration greater than 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an eight-hour period; and implement engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain employee exposure to lead. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Detailed information about lead hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/lead.

Fortune Plastic and Metal Texas has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Dallas Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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