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Company hit with 19 violations, $72,800 in fines by OSHA

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 5, 2012 at 11:28 AM

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cleveland Tank & Supply Inc. with 19 serious health and safety violations – including failing to assess and monitor exposure to hexavalent chromium, and provide adequate personal protective equipment. As a result of an April inspection based on a complaint, OSHA has proposed total fines of $72,800.

“Cleveland Tank & Supply has a responsibility to ensure that workers are properly protected from known workplace hazards such as exposure to chromium,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so.”

Fifteen health violations include failing to assess workers’ exposure to hexavalent chromium and ensure exposures were below the permissible limit. Exposure to chromium – which is commonly found in dyes, paints, plastic and coating materials – can result in irritation to airways, nasal passages, skin and eyes.

Other health violations involve failing to implement a hearing conservation program, provide an emergency eye wash station, inspect and train employees to use fire extinguishers, provide hazard communication training, securely mount a liquefied petroleum cylinder, provide training to powered industrial operators and properly guard bench grinders. Violations relating to personal protective equipment standards have been cited for not documenting equipment assessment, providing and training workers to use such equipment, ensuring its quality or providing it at no cost to workers.

Additionally, four safety violations involve failing to develop machine-specific lockout/tagout procedures, evaluate power industrial truck operator performance every three years, ensure machine guarding was provided for various machinery and ensure point of operation guarding was in place on machinery to prevent amputation and other hazards. 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.

Cleveland Tank & Supply Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was OSHA’s second of the company.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Cleveland Area Office at 216-615-4266.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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