OSHA investigators found that employees at a Texas gun range were not only exposed to above-permissible limits of lead in the air, they also risked potential exposure due to surfaces throughout the facility that were contaminated with the substance.

The violations

Tap Rack Bang Indoor Shooting Range LLC - operating as The Gun Range faces penalties totaling $214,387 for safety violations at its facility in Killeen. OSHA investigated the shooting range in August 2018 after receiving a complaint of worker exposure to lead during firing range activities. Inspectors found airborne lead exceeding the permissible exposure limit, and lead contamination on surfaces.

OSHA cited the company for failing to replace damaged personal protective equipment, and medically monitor employees for lead-related illnesses; and for sweeping up lead debris rather than using vacuum methods with high-efficiency particulate air filters.

From potential health effects

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) the body absorbs higher levels of lead when it is breathed-in. Health effects from short-term overexposure can include: abdominal pain; constipation, fatigue, headaches, irritability, loss of appetite, memory loss and pain or tingling in the hands and/or feet. Exposure to high levels of lead over time may cause anemia, weakness, and kidney and brain damage and even death.

OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Lead addresses lead hazards in the workplace. Inspections focus on hygiene facilities, engineering controls, respiratory protection, exposure monitoring, and medical surveillance. Employers are required to monitor their facilities to ensure workplace health and safety hazards are controlled.  OSHA also has a QuickCard® to educate employers and workers on how to prevent lead exposure.