OSHAOSHA has cited N.E.J. Abatement Group Inc. for six serious violations involving lead hazards at a Pittsburgh work site. An April inspection was prompted by a referral from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and conducted by OSHA under its National Emphasis Program on Lead. Proposed penalties total $16,800.

The violations include exposure to lead above the permissible exposure limit, a lack of adequate engineering and administrative controls, lack of a lead compliance program, failure to conduct initial biological monitoring, conduct initial lead sampling, implement the required respiratory protection program elements and post lead warning signs. The company also failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment, shower facilities and change areas, medical surveillance to workers exposed to lead and fit tests respirator usage.

"Overexposure to lead is a leading cause of workplace illness and can result in a wide range of debilitating medical conditions," said Christopher Robinson, director of the OSHA Pittsburgh Area Office. "The most effective way to minimize worker exposure is through engineering controls, best safety practices, training, and the use of personal protective clothing and equipment such as respirators where required."

Detailed information about OSHA's standards on lead can be found at www.osha.gov/SLTC/lead/index.html.