Cal/OSHA has cited an aircraft parts manufacturer $87,500 for numerous workplace safety and health violations including failure to provide workers with effective training on hazardous chemicals in their work area and willful failure to notify workers of their exposure to hexavalent chromium, a hazardous chemical known to cause cancer commonly referred to as chromium-6.

Cal/OSHA’s Santa Ana Office on January 20 inspected the Triumph Processing - Embee Division, Inc. plant in Santa Ana after receiving a complaint of workplace hazards. Inspectors found that the employer had previously determined through air monitoring that workers who sanded and spray-painted aircraft parts were exposed to high levels of chromium-6, in the form of dust and mist.

Cal/OSHA issued a willful regulatory citation to the employer for not posting or notifying affected workers of the air monitoring results, and for failing to advise the workers of how they would be protected from exposure.

Workers exposed to high levels of the toxin

“Triumph Processing knew its workers had been exposed to high levels of chromium-6 at their facility but failed to notify or effectively train them,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum.

Chromium-6 is a toxic form of the element chromium used in many different industries. It is a known carcinogen and can cause irritation and damage to both the respiratory system when inhaled, and to the eyes and skin upon contact.

Nearly 2 dozen citations

Cal/OSHA issued a total of 23 citations, including one willful regulatory, six serious, six general and 10 regulatory in nature. A willful citation is issued when evidence shows that the employer committed an intentional and knowing violation, and the employer was conscious of the fact that what it was doing constituted a violation, or was aware that a hazardous condition existed and made no reasonable effort to eliminate the hazard. A citation is classified as serious when there was a realistic possibility that death or serious physical harm could result from the actual hazardous condition.