Lead Exposure Carries $97,000 Penalty for Ohio Manufacturer

One willful violation was cited for allowing employees to dry sweep in areas where lead is used and processed. OSHA standards require lead to be removed by a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter or other equally effective method.

OSHA has cited Crown Battery Manufacturing Co. in Fremont, Ohio, for three health violations, which relate to exposing employees to lead hazards. The company faces penalties totaling $97,000 following a February inspection.

"Repeatedly failing to take basic safety precautions to protect workers from known workplace hazards such as lead is unacceptable," said Kimberly Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their workplaces and ensuring that workers are not exposed to risks that could result in injury or death."

One willful violation, with a proposed penalty of $55,000, was cited for allowing employees to dry sweep in areas where lead is used and processed. OSHA standards require lead to be removed by a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter or other equally effective method.

One repeat violation, with a proposed penalty of $35,000, involves multiple incidents of overexposing employees to lead and lacking engineering controls for lead exposure. Prior to this most recent inspection, Crown Battery Manufacturing has been inspected by OSHA 21 times since 1974, and was issued 23 final order citations for violations of the lead standard and four for lack of engineering controls due to lead overexposure. Those four citations were issued in 1980, 1981, 2005, and 2009.

One serious violation, with a proposed penalty of $7,000, was cited for failing to test the under-the-hook lifting device and mark its capacity. The device is used to lift lead that weighs approximately 330 pounds, and not testing or marking the device exposed employees to struck-by hazards.

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