Last updated: March 24. 2014 6:55PM - 2126 Views
By Heather Rutz hrutz@civitasmedia.com

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LIMA — Two companies face federal OSHA fines for exposing workers to dangerous levels of lead and serious fall hazards while doing work at the MacDonell House.

Columbus company Durable Slate faces $119,000 in proposed penalties, and Bellefontaine company Spectrum Painting faces $49,600 in proposed penalties, according to the Toledo office of U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA initiated an inspection of both companies in September 2013 after receiving a referral from a health care provider, which found high levels of lead in blood samples from employees of both companies. The employees were removing lead-based paint from the exterior of the house.

The MacDonell House, at 632 W. Market St., is part of the Allen County Museum complex. Built in 1893, the MacDonell House is one of the few remaining examples of Victorian architectural elegance that once marked an area known as the “Golden Block” in Lima. The house has undergone renovation and maintenance for several years.

Durable Slate Co., which operates as Durable Restoration, was cited for one willful violation. A willful violation was issued for failing to conduct initial exposure monitoring to determine if employees were exposed to lead above the permissible level when scraping lead-based paint. Durable Slate was also issued seven serious violations, five of which were violations of OSHA’s lead exposure standards.

Spectrum Painting was cited for two willful and eight serious violations. Two willful violations were cited for failing to provide respiratory protection and personal protective clothing as interim protection before an initial lead exposure assessment was conducted.

Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of their 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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