Dixie Tank Co. in Jacksonville exposed both full-time and temporary workers to health hazards from exposure to the toxic chemical hexavalent chromium in excess of federal standards.
Hexavalent chromium is known to cause cancer. In addition, it targets the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes. Chromium metal is added to alloy steel to increase hardenability and corrosion resistance. A major source of worker exposure to hexavalent chromium occurs during "hot work," such as welding on stainless steel and other alloy steels containing chromium metal.
Nineteen serious violations involve the employer: exposing workers to hexavalent chromium above eight hour exposure limit set by OSHA; failing to conduct initial monitoring of hexavalent chromium to determine the eight hour exposure average; failing to provide medical surveillance for employees exposed to hexavalent chromium for more than 30 days and failing to provide appropriate respirators for workers. Additionally, the employer failed to ensure all hoist load hooks were equipped with a safety latch to avoid struck-by hazards, and to protect employees working adjacent to the welding area from ultraviolet welding arcs. To view all citations, including four other-than-serious violations, visit http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DixieTankCompany_944682_945488.PDF*.
Dixie Tank manufactures carbon and stainless steel tanks, pressure vessels, water heaters, filters and custom fabrications for the water, water treatment, hot water and industrial markets. Its facility covers more than six acres, with approximately 78,000 square feet of manufacturing area.
OSHA has conducted six previous inspections at the Dixie Tank facility. Most recently, in February 2009, the company was cited for noise, respirators and confined space violations.
Aerotek Inc., a multinational staffing agency, provides Dixie Tank with temporary workers. Dixie Tank was providing the daily supervision, training and direction for the three temporary workers employed at the facility at the time of the inspection.