A Connecticut aircraft parts manufacturer has been cited by OSHA for alleged violations of the Agency’s hazardous substance exposure safety and training regulations.
As part of the National Emphasis Program on Hexavalent Chromium
, OSHA conducted an inspection at the company facility in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Inspectors concluded that workers faced exposure and possible overexposure to the toxic substances while electroplating, mixing and preparing, and painting and removing paint from small aircraft parts.
OSHA alleges the company failed to provide employees with appropriate information and training on chromium hazards, determine employees' exposure to hexavalent chromium, implement controls and work practices to reduce workers' overexposure to chromium, and provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment among other violations.
The company has been cited for two willful, four serious, and two other-than-serious violations, and issued $308,168 in civil penalties. The company 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.
Inspectors Focus on Chemical Exposure Safety in Midwest
Last month, OSHA’s regional office in Kansas City, MO unveiled a new Regional Emphasis Program to “increase awareness of chemical exposures and ensure employers implement required safety and health procedures.”
Inspections will focus on workplaces and industries in which OSHA documented employee exposure to hazardous substances during previous inspections. OSHA’s announcement provides three examples of hazardous substances of concern
—asbestos, cadmium, and formaldehyde.
In addition to using more enforcement resources to prevent chemical exposures, OSHA started a three-month outreach program on October 1 to target employers, professional associations, safety councils, healthcare facilities, and other stakeholders with informational mailers and OSHA presentations.
What Is Hexavalent Chromium?
Sometimes called “Chrome 6,” hexavalent chromium is “the oxidation state of chromium with an oxidation number of +6; a coordination number of 4 and tetrahedral geometry.”
In addition to use in water treatment systems, Chrome 6 is used in industry to add pigment to dyes, paints, inks, and plastics; as an anti-corrosive in paints and other coatings; and more.
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