PA Foundry Fined for Lead Exposure

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 @ 03:03 PM gHale


J. Walter Miller Co. is facing $42,700 in fines for 12 safety violations at its Lancaster, PA, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigators issued citations for 11 serious and one other than serious violations.

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OSHA began an investigation in September in response to a complaint of numerous health and safety hazards, including worker exposure to lead at the foundry.

OSHA inspectors found the employer exposed employees to lead at seven times the permissible limit, and to elevated levels of airborne cadmium. The employer received citations for violations of the lead and cadmium standards for General Industry, including deficiencies in written programs, exposure monitoring, engineering controls, respiratory protection, labeling of contaminated clothing, decontamination before entering lunchrooms, medical surveillance, and training. The agency also found employees suffered exposure to high levels of noise without adequate controls to protect employees.

“J. Walter Miller is exposing its employees to hazards that can lead to serious life-altering health conditions. Lead and cadmium have toxic health effects that are widely known,” said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA’s Harrisburg Area Office. “Unsafe levels of lead are toxic to the nervous system, reproductive system, kidneys and other organs. Long-term cadmium exposure can result in kidney damage, or increase the risk of lung or prostate cancer. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees. OSHA will not tolerate anything less than that.”