Acid Burn Brings Safety Fines

Friday, June 21, 2013 @ 05:06 PM gHale

Advanced Strobe Products Inc. faces $50,785 in fines for 16 health and safety violations, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

OSHA investigated the company’s facility in Harwood Heights, IL, after getting a complaint about a worker receiving emergency medical care for a leg burn due to an acid spill. The company failed to provide and ensure the use of proper personal protective equipment for the worker.

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“Advanced Strobe Products Inc. has a responsibility to protect workers from exposure to acid, hazardous chemicals, lead and cadmium used in their manufacturing facility,” said Diane Turek, OSHA’s area director for the Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines.

The company received 15 serious violations, including failure to ensure use of personal protective equipment, such as impervious aprons, boots, and eye and face protection to prevent exposure to acid and other hazardous materials; provide an emergency eyewash station in the acid room; develop a respiratory protection program; and ensure the use of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-certified respirators for the hazards present. The company also failed to provide medical evaluations and fit-testing for workers required to use respirators, according to OSHA.

OSHA also cited the lack of machine guarding on a welder; failure to train workers on safety precautions and the use of hazardous chemicals, such as acid, lead and cadmium, surfaces not maintained free of lead and cadmium; not developing a hazard communication program; and for the use of a spray booth constructed of wood, which is a combustible material. 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.

One other-than-serious violation was for failing to record the acid spill injury that occurred in January 2013 on the OSHA injury and illness log.

OSHA initiated the complaint inspection in February. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

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