Chemical Exposure Leads to Fines

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 03:12 PM gHale

Amerimex Motors & Controls Inc. is facing $82,900 in fines for 28 violations following a June complaint inspection for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals and other safety hazards, including electrical and unguarded machines at its North Milby facility in Houston, said officials at Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“Failing to protect employees from exposure to, and inhalation of, hazardous chemicals can be fatal,” said Mark Briggs, OSHA’s area director at its Houston South Area Office. “OSHA’s safety and health standards must be followed to prevent worker injury and illness.”

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OSHA’s Houston South Area Office cited 13 serious violations for failing to implement energy control procedures; guard operating machinery, such as punches, lathes and brakes; ensure compressed gases are safely stored; properly mark electrical disconnects; provide an emergency eyewash and shower; train and certify forklift operators; and ensure protective equipment, such as gloves, are used when working with hazardous chemicals. 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.

The 15 other-than-serious violations include failing to accurately record illnesses and injuries in the OSHA logs, implement a hearing conservation program, perform a personal protective equipment assessment, identify and evaluate respiratory hazards and provide hazardous chemicals training. 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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