Firm Fined for Toxic Chemical Hazards

Friday, May 23, 2014 @ 12:05 PM gHale

Power Coatings LLC, a company that specializes in powder coating metal parts, is facing $51,800 in fines for 14 serious safety violations, including failing to protect workers from toxic substances, which can cause cancer, lung impairment and other diseases, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA started its investigation after receiving a December complaint about Power Coatings’ Janesville, WI, facility.

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“Workers were exposed daily to dangerous hazards, many of which could be prevented with the use of proper personal protective equipment and respiratory protection,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s area director in Madison. “The company must identify and correct workplace hazards and provide workers with required safety training.”

The serious safety violations cited included failing to conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment and to provide and require the use of personal protective equipment for skin and eye hazards from methyl ethyl ketone vapors and powder coating dust. Power Coatings did not have a written respiratory protection or hazard communication program and failed to train workers on the programs and hazards found in the workplace. The company failed to conduct air monitoring for methyl ethyl ketone, dust and other respiratory hazards.

An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

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