Hexavalent Chromium Hazards Add Up to Pa Firm's $82,000 Fine

OSHA found that employees performing welding work in the main fabrication area were exposed to airborne concentrations of hexavalent chromium in excess of the permissible exposure limit.

OSHA has cited Cranberry, Pa.-based Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC for alleged willful and serious violations of workplace health standards at its Newington, N.H., stainless-steel component manufacturing facility. The company faces a total of $82,000 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Concord Area Office that was initiated in response to a complaint.

OSHA found that employees performing welding work in the main fabrication area were exposed to airborne concentrations of hexavalent chromium in excess of the permissible exposure limit, and engineering controls or work practices to reduce the exposure levels were not in place. Additionally, employees were wearing respirators even though they had not been medically evaluated to determine if they could safely do so; initial monitoring to determine hexavalent chromium exposure levels had not been conducted; medical surveillance was not made available for all potentially exposed employees; and dry sweeping and brushing, rather than other methods that would minimize the likelihood of exposure, were used to clean work areas. These conditions resulted in citations for five serious violations with $27,000 in proposed fines.

Westinghouse also was issued one willful citation with a $55,000 fine for failing to establish a regulated work area around employees exposed, or reasonably expected to be exposed, to excess levels of hexavalent chromium.

"Workplace exposure to hexavalent chromium may cause irritation or damage to the eyes and skin upon contact and to the nose, throat, and lungs if inhaled. Inhalation could also lead to lung cancer," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director in New Hampshire. "That's why it is critically important that employers such as Westinghouse take effective steps to monitor, identify, and reduce exposure levels, and other necessary steps to safeguard their employees' health."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping there are always questions regarding the requirements and in and outs. IndustrySafe is here to help. We put together this page with critical information to help answer your key questions about OSHA recordkeeping.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We put together a guide that’s easy to digest so you can ensure you're complying with OSHA's training standards.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus