An administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has upheld fines placed on an Ohio company. According to an inspection, several employees had symptoms of a potentially fatal respiratory disease after sweeping up pigeon droppings.
Safetynewsalert.com reports that OSHA began an investigation against ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp. in June 2009 after a worker was struck in the head by debris during the cleanup of a 600,000-square-foot factory building in Cleveland that was owned by the company. (WCxKit)
ALL Erection brought in subcontractor Labor Ready to remove debris, including pigeon waste, from the building.
The inspection revealed several workers had symptoms of histoplasmosis due to inhaling dust created by sweeping and shoveling the bird waste.
ALL Erection contested the citations claiming that the workers were employed by Labor Ready. The judge rejected the argument due to the fact workers were being supervised by ALL Erection and the company was in charge of the manner of the work being accomplished.
The judge upheld five serious citations against the company for failure to provide:
1. Guarding for a fifth floor elevator shaft
2. Personal protective equipment
3. Compliant respirators
4. Medical personnel for advice and consultation, and
5. Training for employees on hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
The judge also upheld a less-than-serious citation for failing to determine the presence, quantity and location of asbestos-containing material. A serious citation for failing to provide an assessment for lead was tossed out. (WCxKit)
In all, ALL Erection was fined $10,850.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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