OSHA has cited Miami shooting range E.N. Range for willfully exposing its employees to lead contamination. The potential fines total more than $2 million.
The shooting range pays workers to clean expended bullets off the range. OSHA alleged the company provided insufficient protection against lead poisoning for those workers.
OSHA alleged that the company illegally provided employees with medications—known as chelating agents—to reduce the effects of lead exposure. OSHA cited this as a violation, noting that chelating agents only work therapeutically, once a person has been diagnosed with lead poisoning. They cannot prevent lead poisoning. The law requires physicians to prescribe chelating agents; the shooting range employees who allegedly dispensed the drugs didn’t have medical licenses.
Also, OSHA claimed the range didn’t use engineering controls to prevent overexposure to lead, sample the air to determine the extent of its workers’ exposure or provide showers for workers who had been exposed to lead. The citation said the range failed to conduct required semiannual blood tests and medical exams for exposed workers.
The company was also cited for failing to abate an OSHA violation discovered during an inspection in February 2009. At that time, OSHA required E.N. Range to implement a job rotation schedule to reduce lead exposures.