Pennsylvania Company Exposes Employees to Toxic Hexavalent Chromium Fumes

OSHA fined a Pennsylvania company $280,874 for putting employees at risk for toxic fumes and other safety hazards.

OSHA has cited Cleveland Brothers Inc. (doing business as CB HYMAC) for exposing workers to hexavalent chromium fumes and other safety hazards at the company’s Camp Hill, Pennsylvania site. The company, which provides hydraulic service and repair, machining and chroming services, is facing one willful violation and 18 serious and two other-than-serious citations from OSHA. The penalties total $280,874.

OSHA first conducted an investigation on the company in July 2019 after receiving a complaint of overexposure to the toxin. OSHA also cited the company for failing to train employees on hexavalent chromium’s hazards and maintain a satisfactory respiratory protection program.

“Occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium can result in significant adverse health effects for employees,” said OSHA Harrisburg Area Director David Olah. “Engineering controls must be implemented and affected employees must be trained to recognize the hazards of this toxic chemical.”

“Employers must continually evaluate their facilities for hazards, and use proper safety controls and equipment to protect workers’ safety,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “OSHA provides free resources to help employers comply with hexavalent chromium standards.”

Hexavalent chromium is no joke. OSHA’s webpage on the toxin provides resources on protecting employees from the toxic chemical, including the Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Hexavalent Chromium Standards.

The National Toxicology Program provides helpful information on hexavalent chromium’s risks and health effects.

Cleveland Brothers Inc. has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations and penalties (view them here and here) to comply, request an informal conference with an OSHA area director, or contest the findings.

Read the official news release for more information.

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