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Abrasives Maker Fined for Labeling Issue

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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An Alabama abrasives maker has been fined $1,100 for one federal labeling violation for failing to list beryllium as a component of a coal slag abrasive.

Mobile Abrasives Inc. was issued the citation Sept. 7 after an OSHA inspection Aug. 21 found that the company had provided customers with material safety data sheets (MSDS) that did not list beryllium as a component in the company's Black Blast coal slag abrasive.

The violation was corrected during the inspection, the fine has been paid, and the case is closed, OSHA said.

Photos: Mobile Abrasives Inc.

Mobile Abrasives manufactures abrasives in Alabama. The company was fined by OSHA for not listing beryllium in a product MSDS.

'Serious' Violation

OSHA issued Mobile Abrasives a violation classified as "Serious," which OSHA defines as one that exists when a "workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation."

The citation stated that failure to list beryllium in the MSDS exposed the employees of Mobile Abrasive's customers to health hazards associated with beryllium released in amounts in excess of OSHA's Permissible Exposure Level.

The citation "was immediately abated [corrected] during the inspection. The informal [conference] was held, and a settlement was reached. Mobile Abrasives paid $1,100 in penalties. The status of the case is 'Closed,'" OSHA spokesman Michael D'Aquino said in an e-mail.

Communication Standard

The violation falls under OSHA's Hazard Communication regulation, specifically 29 CFR 1910.1200(d)(5)(iv), which states that if a mixture is known to contain certain concentrations of a hazardous component, and these concentrations could exceed established limits or present a health risk to employees, then the entire mixture is assumed to be as hazardous as the component.

The company's Black Blast abrasive was the target of the violation.

Mobile Abrasives manufactures quartz sand and coal slag abrasives; this fine  pertained only to the company's coal slag abrasive, Black Blast.

Mobile Abrasives did not immediately respond Tuesday (Nov. 13) for comment. The company has no other record with OSHA.

The product's current MSDS, accessed via the company's website on Tuesday (Nov. 13), lists beryllium at a concentration of zero to 0.004 percent.


Tagged categories: Coal slag; hazardous materials; Hazards; OSHA; Regulations; Violations

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