An Ohio industrial and military coatings applicator is facing 26 federal health and safety violations and $88,200 in fines for spray booth violations, combustible dust hazards and other issues at its two Akron facilities.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the citations against Heritage Industrial Finishing after an inspection prompted by complaints about workplace hazards.
Heritage Industrial Finishing
|Founded in 1965, the company specializes in commercial/industrial and military CARC coatings, powdered coating application and abrasive blasting.|
Established in 1965, Heritage specializes in commercial/industrial and military CARC coatings, powdered coating application and abrasive blasting.
The company has no prior record with OSHA and did not respond to a request for comment on this case.
Facility 1: Dust and Lack of PPE
Four serious health violations at the company’s Englewood Avenue facility included:
• Allowing combustible residue to accumulate on the sprinklers, floors and walls of the spray booth;
• Failing to require the use of eye protection and to document a personal protective equipment assessment;
• Failing to develop a written respiratory protection program that includes fit testing, annual training and medical evaluation;
• Failing to develop a written hazard communication program; and
• Not training workers on the hazards of chemicals used in the workplace.
Eight serious safety violations included failure to:
• Develop and train workers in lockout/tagout procedures;
• Lock out equipment to control hazardous energy before servicing and maintenance;
• Train workers to use portable fire extinguishers;
• Label equipment controls; and
• Maintain covers on electrical installations.
Facility 2: Spray Booth Hazards
Thirteen serious health citations at the company’s Kelly Avenue facility alleged failure to:
• Provide deflagration control devices on the powder coat booth;
• Keep aisles clear of obstruction where powered industrial trucks were used;
• Control noise exposure above the permissible limit;
• Implement a hearing conservation program;
• Keep areas clear of combustible powder accumulations;
• Keep total dust exposures below the permissible limit; and
• Install engineering controls to reduce exposures to total dust.
The violations also include a variety of electrical hazards, such as failing to use grounded electrical cords.
In addition, OSHA issued one other-than-serious health violation for failing to post noise standards.
A serious violation reflects substantial probability of death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference or contest the findings.
‘Responsible for Knowing’
“Employers such as Heritage Industrial Finishing are responsible for knowing the hazards that exist in their facilities, and implementing training and safety procedures, as well as mandating the proper use of personal protective equipment,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland.
“OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so.”