As part of its recent “get tough” stance, OSHA has promised to go after companies with previous violations and to re-emphasize health inspections. This case covers both bases.
ERA Valdivia Contractors, Inc., of Chicago, faces $130,300 in OSHA fines for exposing workers to dangerous materials containing lead.
Following a November 2009 inspection, OSHA cited the company with two willful violations ($112,000 in fines) for failing to provide adequate personal protective equipment to employees working in and around lead while performing abrasive blasting and painting.
The company also faces eight serious citations ($18,300 in fines) for failure to:
- ensure workers use respirators in accordance with the conditions of certification
- prohibit use of respirators by employees with facial hair, and
- provide a clean changing area for employees.
ERA Valdivia has 15 days to decide whether to contest the fines.
OSHA has inspected the company 25 times since 1991 and issued numerous willful, serious and repeat violations, including ones for lead hazards.