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OSHA cites Cincy painting firm for lead safety violations

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in Employment Law,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Preventing Workplace Violence

OSHA has levied $321,000 in fines against UCL Inc., a Cincinnati-based bridge and tower painting company. The fines stem from nine willful and two serious workplace safety violations related to lead exposure.

When OSHA investigated UCL’s work site at a bridge on Interstate 75 near Middletown, it found a lack of appropriate respirators and protective clothing. Inspectors said the company failed to protect eating areas from lead contamination and didn’t ensure lead dust was removed from equipment before workers entered designated eating areas.

OSHA’s finding that the safety lapses were “committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health” led to the willful violation charges.

Many of the charges related to the employer’s failure to provide clean protective clothing and washing facilities. OSHA cited research showing that work site lead can be transported home with workers and contaminate homes. Young children in particular can suffer long-term effects from lead poisoning.

UCL’s failure to get the lead out may not be its only OSHA-related problem. A worker died in an accident on Aug. 27, 2009, at a UCL work site at a different bridge on I-75.

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