Respiratory, Noise Hazards Could Cost Auto Shop $393K in OSHA Fines

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An auto body manufacturing plant in Augusta, Me. faces $393,992 in fines following an October inspection. According to OSHA’s press release, reports of fall, respiratory, and noise hazards were repeatedly ignored by management.

“Our inspectors found plant employees without fall protection working atop truck bodies and others exposed to excess noise levels while steam cleaning,” said OSHA Area Director David McGuan in Augusta. “Management’s knowledge of these hazards and their failure to correct them led us to cite these conditions as willful violations.”

 

Noise & Respiratory Violations

 

The company was cited for two willful violations and 10 serious violations.

The citations stemmed from the plant’s failure to: 

  • Provide adequate training to employees to guard them against struck-by and crushing hazards from homemade attachments used on auto lifts
  • Guard machinery to avoid improper contact with operating parts
  • Conduct hazard assessments to determine which PPE is required for employees
  • Provide appropriate protective goggles for workers near welding areas that lack noncombustible or flameproof screens or shields
  • Establish a PPE respiratory protection program and medically evaluate an employee’s ability to wear certain gear
  • Securely anchor machines from moving
  • Refrain from using flexible cords or cables as a substitute for fixed electrical wiring and electrical openings

 

The Cost of Noise Hazards

 

Approximately 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous and potentially damaging noise in the workplace each year.

Workers who experience hearing loss as a result can receive a hefty workers’ compensation payout. It’s well worth it to take the steps to conserve hearing before employees feel any negative effects. 

 

OSHA hearing standard

 

Keep Employees Safe with Audiometric Testing

 

Any employees exposed to sound levels at or above 85 decibels adjusted (dBA) for an 8-hour time-weighted average must be provided with some form of hearing protection. 

OSHA requires all industrial workplaces to create and implement hearing conservation plans. The administration also mandates that employers provide workers with a variety of personal protective equipment, and consistent audiometric testing performed by licensed professionals.

Audiometric testing is an important part of any hearing conservation program. It consists of pure tone air-conducted hearing testing performed in each ear at frequencies of 500, 1K, 2K, 3K, 4K, 6K, and 8K. This sort of testing identifies hearing levels and a sensitivity to the exposed sound. So it’s easy to identify if any employees are experiencing trouble hearing. 

You can bring audiometric testing and other medical surveillance services directly to your worksite with Worksite Medical. 

 

Hearing loss chart

 

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About Worksite Medical

In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.

Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.

We conduct on-site respirator fit tests, as well as audiometric exams, pulmonary function tests and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.

With Worksite Medical, a mobile medical testing unit — we can bring all the resources of a lab to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.

Protect your team and your workplace now with Worksite Medical. Not sure what you need? Try our medical testing wizard here.

Give us a call at 1-844-622-8633, or complete the form below to schedule an on-site visit or to get your free quote.

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