After a January inspection, Spectrum Machine Inc. was hit with 13 health violations and $188,300 in proposed penalties. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted the inspection of Spectrum’s Ravenna, Ohio facility and discovered workers were being exposed to lead and copper fumes above permissible limits, according to an OSHA regional news release. Spectrum’s Streetboro facility was cited for similar violations back in 2006.
Spectrum’s latest violations include three willful violations. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements or plain indifference to employee safety and health. Spectrum’s three willful violations were for failing to conduct initial monitoring of workers exposed to lead, failing to develop a hazard communication program and failing to provide training regarding potential health hazards and necessary precautions to prevent lead exposure.
In addition to the willful safety violations, Spectrum was also cited for 10 serious safety violations, which is a violation where there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard that the employer either knew about or should have known about. Some of Spectrum’s serious violations include:
- Failing to develop a noise monitoring and lockout/tagout program to prevent the unintentional operation of machinery
- Failing to develop and implement a written respiratory protection program
- Failing to prevent the use of respirators with an inadequate protection factor
“Failing to monitor worker exposure to airborne metal particles can result in severe illness,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA area director in Cleveland. “By failing to develop a lead protection and hazard communication program, Spectrum Machine has demonstrated a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”
Spectrum’s violations have landed it in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enhancement Program (SVEP). The SVEP focuses on employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. The program mandates targeted follow-up inspections and allows OSHA to inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are continued or similar violations.
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