Workers Exposed to 'Dangerously High' Levels of Lead, Firm Fined $54,600

OSHA initiated an inspection after receiving a referral from the Pennsylvania Department of Health regarding an employee with blood containing an elevated level of lead.

OSHA has cited Refractory Installation and Construction Headquarters Inc. for exposing workers to dangerously high levels of lead at a Lyon Station, Pa., work site and for other violations found during an inspection of the company’s Bernville, Pa., headquarters. Proposed fines total $54,600.

OSHA initiated an inspection after receiving a referral from the Pennsylvania Department of Health regarding an employee with blood containing an elevated level of lead.

Eleven serious violations carrying penalties of $53,900 have been cited for overexposing workers to lead and cadmium; respiratory program deficiencies; failing to implement a lead and cadmium compliance plan; failing to provide arsenic, lead, cadmium, and respiratory training; not conducting air monitoring for arsenic and lead; failing to ensure that employees exposed to airborne lead and cadmium washed their hands and faces prior to drinking; not conducting medical surveillance and exams for workers exposed to lead and cadmium; not taking employee blood samples to determine lead levels; and not informing workers of medical removal protection benefits and provide those benefits to two employees.

Four other-than-serious violations with $700 in penalties involve record-keeping violations.

“Lead overexposure in the workplace can lead to serious adverse health problems,” said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA’s Harrisburg Area Office. “OSHA will not tolerate employers who jeopardize the safety and health of their workers.”

Refractory Installation and Construction Headquarters Inc. is a refractory installation, repair, and replacement company.

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