Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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OHSA fines 2 companies for lead exposure in Lima facility

LIMA, Ohio — Two Ohio companies were cited by the federal government for exposing workers to dangerous levels of lead from lead-based paint while restoring a historic building in Lima.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed fines of $119,000 for the Durable Slate Co., and $49,600 for Spectrum Painting.

OSHA said it initiated an inspection in September after being notified by a health-care provider that it had found high levels of lead in blood samples from employees of both companies.

The companies were working on the MacDonell House, which is part of the Allen County Museum complex. Durable Slate of Columbus was cited for one “willful” violation for failing to conduct initial exposure monitoring to see if employees were exposed to unsafe amounts of lead while scraping paint for the exterior of the 1893 building. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing, or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Durable Slate also was cited for seven “serious” violations, including not properly training employees, not providing proper respiratory protection for employees, and not making sure workers wore proper protective clothing.

Spectrum Painting, which has its headquarters in Bellefontaine, was cited for two “willful” violations for not providing proper protective clothing and respiratory protection. It also was cited for eight “serious” violations, including violating lead exposure standards.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference, or contest the findings.

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