An Illinois-based lead, mold and asbestos abatement company has been fined $46,900 after its workers were exposed to lead paint while conducting abrasive blasting operations.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Celtic Environmental for 10 serious safety violations that occurred in October 2013.
OSHA initiated a complaint inspection of the site under the National Emphasis Program for Lead Exposure in Construction. Lead exposure can cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys and other organs.
“OSHA has specific regulations to protect construction workers from dangerous lead exposure on the job,” said Richard Langenderfer, OSHA’s acting area director in Calumet City, in a March 2014 statement. “OSHA standards require employers to implement engineering controls to reduce exposure, practice good hygiene to ensure lead dust and particles are not transported off the work site and to provide required and appropriate respiratory protection. Unfortunately, we found all these violations at this work site,” he added.
Ten serious safety citations were issued to the company. Eight of those violations involve failing to adhere to lead protection standards, including failure to:
- Collect samples and conduct biological monitoring to determine employee exposure.
- Implement a respiratory protection program.
- Provide appropriate protective clothing.
- Provide hygiene and changing stations to ensure lead was not transported from the site.
- Train workers on lead exposure.
- Establish and implement a compliance program.
Celtic Environmental was also cited for failing to secure pneumatic power tools to prevent injury and not providing hazard communication training to employees working with hazardous chemicals.