OSHA administrator David Michaels has called for a new emphasis on the health regulation side of the agency. Recent fines received by one company show the potential impact of this new emphasis.
Wisconsin Polishing and Plating of West Allis, WI, faces $75,400 in OSHA fines for 53 health violations associated with allowing workers to be overexposed to chromium and chromic acid.
A willful citation against the company is for allowing an employee to be exposed to hexavalent chromium above the permissible exposure limit (PEL).
The 50 serious violations include failure to:
- provide proper protective equipment for employees working with lead and other extremely dangerous dust and chemicals, and
- maintain material safety data information.
The company also received two other-than-serious violations. One of them was for not informing employees about their right to access medical or exposure information and records.
As usual, the company has 15 days to decide whether to contest the fines.