Toxic Chemical Exposure Brings Safety Fines

Friday, May 30, 2014 @ 04:05 PM gHale


Outdoor Furniture Refinishing Inc., doing business as Allied Powder Coating, is facing $55,400 in fines for 15 serious health and safety violations at the company’s Houston, TX, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA cited the sandblasting and powder coating company for exposing workers to toxic chemicals, including silica, beyond established occupational limits.

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OSHA initiated the February 2013 inspection at the company’s Houston facility under its Regional Emphasis Program on Safety and Health Hazards in the Manufacture of Fabricated Metal Products.

“Allied Powder Coating has a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for its employees,” said Mark Briggs, OSHA’s area director in the Houston South Area Office. “OSHA standards are in place to protect workers from predictable and preventable injuries and illnesses, and the company ignored these standards at the expense of worker safety.”

The serious violations include exposing workers to crystalline silica above the occupational exposure limit. Crystalline silica can cause lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in workers. The company also failed to institute a noise monitoring program that included audiometric testing for workers exposed to noise in excess of 90 decibels.

Additionally, the spray booth did not have an alarm to indicate proper maintenance of required air velocity, nor did it have sprinklers or an exhaust that discharged to the building’s exterior.

Workers did not receive fit testing or a medical evaluation for respirators. In addition, the company did not properly store or inspect the respirators prior to use. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.



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