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Painting Violations Draw $102K OSHA Fine

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

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A wide variety of paint-related violations—from open drums of lacquer to unprotected lighting spattered with overspray to lack of training in first aid and respirator use—has an Ohio fabricator facing 38 federal health and safety violations and more than $100,000 in fines.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued the citations against MM Industries, of Salem, OH, and proposed $102,600 in fines.

The company, established in 1968, manufactures sieves, straining and filtration equipment for the paint, coatings and other industries in a 25,000-square-foot facility that includes painting, machining, fabrication and related operations.

The company did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment.

Safety Violations

Twenty-six serious safety violations with proposed fines of $63,600 allege, among other things:

• Lack of emergency lighting;

• Failure to inspect cranes;

• Machine guarding violations on various pieces of equipment;

• Failure to implement and train workers in lockout/tagout procedures to control the release of hazardous energy

• Lack of first aid training;

• Lack of Personal Protective Equipment; and

• Using compressed air at 100 psi for cleaning, instead of reducing the pressure to 30 psi.

Twelve serious health violations with proposed fines of $39,000 include:

• Leaving uncovered 55-gallon drums of lacquer;

• Spray booths made of combustible materials (plywood);

• No gauges or alarms on spray booths to monitor air velocity, resulting in “overloaded” filters and “negligible” air flow;

• Lack of sprinkler systems in paint spray booths;

• Using booth lighting not approved for hazardous locations and covered in flammable paint residues;

• Accumulation of flammable paint and chemical residue on booth walls and floors;

• No training or medical evaluation of painters using respiratory protection;

• Lack of employee training regarding exposure to and handling of paints and hazardous chemicals;

• Lack of labeling and Material Safety Data Sheets for paints, thinners and other chemicals; and

• Inappropriate electrical wiring and equipment used near paint booths.

A serious violation reflects “substantial probability” of death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Two other-than-serious violations (with no proposed monetary penalties) involve failing to properly maintain the OSHA 300 injury and illness log, and not properly marking a crane.

‘Employers Have a Responsibility’

“Employers have a responsibility to ensure work environments are healthful and safe, which includes providing appropriate equipment and training to protect workers,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s Cleveland area director.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Tagged categories: Health and safety; OSHA; Spray booths; Violations

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