U.S. Department of Labor cites Connecticut Aircraft Parts Manufacturer for Failing to Protect Workers from Toxic Substance Exposures

U.S. Department of Labor cites Connecticut Aircraft Parts Manufacturer for Failing to Protect Workers from Toxic Substance Exposures

Kaman Air Vehicles faces $308k in Penalties for violations.

A U.S. DOL inspection found that a Connecticut aircraft manufacturer did not take the required steps to identify potential exposures and protect employees from hexavalent chromium and cadmium at its Bloomfield facility. OSHA inspectors determined employees at Kaman Air Vehicles faced exposure and possible overexposure to the toxic substances while electroplating, mixing and preparing, painting and removing paint on small aircraft parts. OSHA conducted the inspection under its National Emphasis Program on Hexavalent Chromium.

According to a press release, Kaman was cited for two willful, four serious and two other-than-serious violations and proposed $308,168 in penalties. OSHA inspectors found the company failed to:

  • Determine employees' exposure to hexavalent chromium.
  • Assess employees' overexposure to cadmium during plating operations.
  • Implement controls and work practices to reduce employees' overexposure to chromium.
  • Provide employees with appropriate PPE, including chemical-resistant gloves and impervious aprons and ensure their use.
  • Ensure exposed employees used effective respiratory protection.
  • Periodically examine nostrils of exposed employees.
  • Provide employees with appropriate information and training on chromium hazards.
  • Label tanks containing hazardous substances with information on the hazards associated with their contents.

“Our inspection found Kaman Air Vehicles failed to protect employees as required from potentially serious health conditions,” said OSHA Acting Area Director Christine George in Hartford, Connecticut. “This employer must ensure a safe, healthful work environment by monitoring worker exposure, implementing controls to reduce and minimize exposure levels and provide employees with information about the toxic substances with which they work.”

Kaman Air Vehicles is a division of Kaman Aerospace Corp., which conducts business in the aerospace and defense, industrial and medical markets. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent OSHRC.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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