The agency inspected Keymark Corp. after receiving a complaint and found that workers at the company’s aluminum extruding plant were exposed to the hazardous substance chromium, high noise levels and falls of up to 17 feet due to the employer's failure to provide and ensure proper safeguards.
OSHA found that employees were exposed to high noise levels and that Keymark did not ensure the use of hearing protectors or train workers in their use and care. Keymark failed to check that personal protective equipment, clothing and respiratory devices were provided, used and maintained in a sanitary condition, and that workers were trained to use them.
The company also failed to determine workers' exposure levels to chromium and ensure that surfaces were free from chromium accumulation; to ensure proper, clean changing areas for employees' working with chromium; and to ensure that chromium-contaminated clothing was stored and transported in sealed containers.
Chromium exposure can cause both short- and long-term health risks ranging from potentially fatal falls and hearing loss to cumulative damage to the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes.
Employees were exposed to 17-foot falls into a work pit that lacked a guardrail and to being caught in or injured by unintended machinery start-up. Procedures and training for turning off machine power sources before maintenance and servicing were lacking.