27 Violations Found After Employee Loses a Finger
On March 26, OSHA cited a major arms manufacturer with 27 violations of workplace safety and health standards.
Inspectors investigated the company’s Ilion, NY plant after a worker’s fingertip was amputated by a broaching machine.
The manufacturer, based out of Madison, NC, was cited for various safety violations, as well as failure to complete the following health standards:
- Conduct atmospheric testing in confined spaces
- Monitor lead exposure levels
- Implement a hearing conservation program
- Provide first aid training
- Provide proper PPE for employees working with corrosive chemicals
- Limit exposure to cadmium
- Label hazardous chemical containers
“The violations identified exposed employees to serious and potentially life-threatening injuries,” said OSHA Syracuse Area Director Jeffrey Prebish. “Employers can minimize workplace dangers by conducting required job hazard analyses.”
Arms Manufacturer & Heavy Metals Violations
Proper hazard analyses are prudent in working with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead.
The manufacturer failed to properly limit exposure to these hazardous materials. Exposure to lead can occur during the production of lead bullets — either through ingestion or, more likely, inhalation.
Since the United States is the third highest lead-producing country on Earth, lead poisoning is one of the most common heavy metal exposure threats to workers.
Approximately 804,000 general industry workers, along with 838,000 construction workers are potentially exposed to the metal every year.
This can lead to health issues such as lowered blood levels, anemia, kidney disease, lung cancer, stomach cancer and death.
The arms manufacturer also failed to limit exposure to cadmium, which can often be found in worksites where metal is smelted or refined.
More than 300,000 workers are at risk of cadmium exposure every year.
Inhalation or ingestion of this highly toxic metal can cause cancer and damage lungs, kidneys, and bones.
Heavy Metal Testing
Employers can monitor potential worker exposure to these substances with heavy metal testing.
Even though the materials can differ greatly, both lead and cadmium can be tested with a heavy-metals panel.
Worksite Medical can perform these panels in a group of tests tailored to an employee’s occupation, symptoms, and suspected exposure.
A broad panel may be ordered by one of our qualified medical professionals if they suspect that an employee has been acutely or chronically exposed to more than one heavy metal.
Health screenings and medical surveillance work to supplement the general heavy metal standard, which minimizes airborne concentrations and sources of ingestion.
These methods are the only way that employees can determine if the provisions of the standards have effectively protected them as an individual.
If your employees work with potentially hazardous metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, beryllium, or hexavalent chromium — it’s important to establish medical surveillance.
This should be done sooner rather than later to avoid penalties from OSHA, and to keep your team safe & healthy.
For convenient on-site medical surveillance testing, contact Worksite Medical today by completing the form below, starting a chat, or calling us at 1-844-622-8633.