| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free Specialty Function Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Paint Firm Fined $126K in PPE Case

Monday, November 7, 2011

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

A small metal painter in Wisconsin is facing nearly $126,000 in federal fines for allegedly failing to provide workers with protective equipment, exposing them to skin rashes and irritations, authorities say.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Gardner Equipment Co. for 22 safety and health violations, including confined-space and respirator infractions, at its facilities in Columbus and Juneau, WI. Proposed fines total $125,900.

 Yale University Painters and Repairers Education Program

 Yale University Painters and Repairers Education Program

Yale University medical students have developed safety reminders for painters. Gardner Equipment is accused of allowing employees to paint without respirators and other protective equipment.

Employees at the two facilities paint metal birdhouses. The company has no prior record with OSHA.

A woman who answered the phone at Gardner said the company had no comment but was “working with OSHA.”

$44K Violation

The allegations include one willful citation—OSHA’s highest level of infraction—for failing to ensure that workers used respirators, protective shields, personal protective equipment or protective clothing while using “powdered paint containing skin irritants and sensitizers,” OSHA said.

“A manager was made aware of some workers experiencing skin rashes on their arms and hands, a known side effect of the paint substance,” OSHA said in a release. “The company also failed to train workers on the use of personal protective equipment.”

That one violation carries a $44,000 penalty.

A willful violation implies intentional disregard for the law or plain indifferent to worker safety and health.

16 Serious Violations

The company was cited for 16 serious safety and health violations at the Columbus facility.

Those allegations include failure to:

• Establish a respiratory program that includes fit testing, medical evaluations and training;

• Properly clean and store respirators;

• Evaluate the workplace for confined space hazards and establish a permit-required confined space program;

• Establish and train workers in a hazard communication program;

• Have adequate explosion protection for combustible dust collectors and cyclones inside the building; and

• Establish an energy control program, including the provision of lockout/tagout devices and training on proper procedures.

Other serious violations include allowing workers to eat and drink in areas contaminated by hazardous chemicals and a nonfunctional automatic sprinkler and flame gate.

The company’s Juneau facility was cited for three serious safety violations involving its energy control program. Here, OSHA alleges:

• Lack of machine specific procedures;

• Failure to train employees on lockout/tagout procedures and lack of lockout devices; and

• Failure to establish a hazard communication program and provide related training.

Serious violations reflect “substantial probability” of death or serious injury from hazards that the company knew or should have known about.

Other Violations

An other-than-serious safety violation was cited at both facilities for failing to document performance of a hazard assessment regarding personal protective equipment.

“Gardner Equipment Co. has a responsibility to ensure its employees are properly protected from known hazards in the workplace,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s area director in Madison.

“Failing to ensure workers use protective clothing and respiratory protection demonstrates a lack of regard for workers’ safety and health. OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so.”


Tagged categories: Health and safety; OSHA; Personal protective equipment; Protective clothing; Regulations; Respirators; Violations

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.


The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable

Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox - One Step
Lead Abatement

Don't waste money on added labor steps with other methods. Don't mix, meter or apply at the job-site. Avoid strict hazardous waste rules.
Let your painters paint

US Minerals
US Minerals -
Black Magnum

With nationwide production and distribution capabilities, U.S. Minerals supplies a complete range of coal slag and other abrasives to meet all of your blasting needs.

CS Unitec
Work Cleaner and Safer

CS Unitec’s Vibro-Lo low-vibration scalers offer high performance for greater productivity & improved operator comfort. Optional dust shroud.

Sidewinder/Persyst Enterprises, Inc.
The Sidewinder Model M2 Solvent Recycler

Combat the rising cost of gunwash, thinners, acetone & more while drastically reducing waste disposal coat.

RPB Respiratory

With RPB Safety’s new Nova 3 Cassette Lens System which has been specifically designed to save you time and money! See the benefits for yourself now!

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal

Strip it, clean it, and profile it,
all dust free! High production
rates and Blast like finishes.
Comply with new lead

PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
Industrial strength performance in ONE can.

Now get the durability and protection of two components in one can: Amercoat® ONE, PSX® ONE and Sigmadur ONE.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail