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Contractor exposes workers to hazardous air contaminants

17 August 2011

The US Department of Labour’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited contractor Affordable Engineering Services LLC at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, for 12 serious safety and health violations related to exposing workers to hazardous contaminants. The proposed penalties total $51,850.

Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah
Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah

Affordable Engineering Services provides aircraft maintenance for the US Air Force and OSHA began its planned safety and health inspections at the base in January 2011 under its Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Programme. This is designed to focus on federal work sites experiencing a high number of work-related injuries and illnesses.

The serious violations included exposing workers to air contaminants including hexavalent chromium, cadmium and methylene chloride; lack of engineering controls for air contaminants; lack of engineering controls for noise exposures; inadequate medical surveillance for employees exposed to hexavalent chromium and cadmium; lack of appropriate change rooms; failure to train workers on hazardous chemicals; and improper training for respiratory protection.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"This contractor's workers are exposed to excessive levels of hexavalent chromium, cadmium and methylene chloride, and providing necessary controls is critical in preventing diseases like lung cancer," said Herb Gibson, Director of OSHA's Denver Area Office. "These violations could have been avoided if the employer had followed OSHA's expanded health standards for chromium and cadmium."

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's Denver area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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