The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited U.S. Battery Manufacturing Co. for exposing employees to lead, unguarded machinery, and other safety hazards at its facility in Augusta, Georgia. The company faces penalties of $115,594.
OSHA cited the manufacturer for exposing employees to lead exceeding the permissible exposure limit, and arsenic above the action level, and failing to record on OSHA’s 300 log that the company medically removed the employees from exposure. The company also failed to conduct training, implement a medical surveillance program, and properly guard equipment.
“Elevated lead levels can cause debilitating and permanent health issues,” said OSHA Atlanta-East Area Director William Fulcher. “OSHA’s lead standard requires employers to minimize workers’ exposure by using measures including engineering controls, safe work practices, and providing protective clothing and equipment.”
The investigation was initiated under OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program on Lead.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed 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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.