Arsenic, lead and excessive noise were the hazards workers were exposed to at a drilling mud manufacturing plant in Mo, according to OSHA, which cited Cimbar Performance Minerals in Cadet for 23 violations of health and safety standards. Proposed penalties total $214,550.

Following an inspection initiated because of a complaint, OSHA issued the company willful citations for not providing workers with an effective hearing conservation program, not providing hearing protection for workers exposed to excessive noise levels, and a lack of training for employees who operate powered industrial trucks.

Serious citations were issued for worker exposure to lead at levels exceeding the permissible exposure limit; failure to conduct initial monitoring for lead and arsenic exposure; failure to provide appropriate protective work clothing, medical monitoring and bathroom facilities for workers; noise levels exceeding the permissible exposure limit without hearing protection for workers; and manufacturer material safety data sheets lacking the identity, health hazards, exposure limits and carcinogenic information of the chemicals manufactured at the worksite.

"Workers were not protected from the hazards of exposure to lead and arsenic and to excessive noise levels while working in the ore crushing facility," said Charles Adkins, OSHA regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "The company needs to address these issues quickly and sufficiently to ensure the safety and health of its workers, and the workers of other employers who purchase and use its product."

Two other-than-serious citations with no penalties were issued for failure to provide eye protective side shields and fire extinguisher training for all workers.