US Department of Labor Cites Illinois Smelter, Mayco Industries for Exposing Employees to Lead, Arsenic and Other Hazards

GRANITE CITY, IL (STL.News) The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Mayco Manufacturing LLC – operating as Mayco Industries Inc. – for exposing employees to lead and arsenic in addition to machine, electrical and fall hazards.  The Granite City, Illinois, lead smelter faces $223,148 in penalties for 18 serious health violations.

OSHA received a report that employees suffered caustic burns from water mixed with sodium hydroxide used to extinguish a fire. OSHA cited the company for failing to monitor for arsenic and maintain lead exposures below permissible exposure limits; train employees on arsenic and other chemical hazards; keep surfaces clean from lead and arsenic; and check the effectiveness of ventilation systems.  OSHA also cited the company for failing to implement adequate medical surveillance procedures; keep adequate lead exposure air-monitoring records; assess respiratory hazards in other work areas; and provide an emergency eyewash station.

“Extended exposure to toxic metals can cause health disorders, such as impaired kidney, lung and nerve function, and can be fatal,” said OSHA Area Director Aaron Priddy in Fairview Heights, Illinois.  “It is vital for the safety and health of workers that employers comply with OSHA’s standards on toxic and hazardous substances, and develop a comprehensive safety and health program to address all hazards in the workplace.”

OSHA’s lead and arsenic webpages provide information on what employers must do to limit worker exposures.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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