OSHA: St. Marys workers exposed to dangerous chemicals

First Posted: 1/5/2015

ST. MARYS — Three companies were cited for safety violations in St. Marys.

The companies, CS Metals Inc., OmniSource St. Marys and Master Maintenance, were cited after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA launched the investigation first into CS Metals, due to a safety-related complaint. The investigation, launched in June, led the administration to the company’s parent company, OmniSource, and a subcontractor of OmniSource, Master Maintenance.

CS Metals, based in Houston, Texas, had the most violations, according to a release from OSHA, with 16 overall for exposing employees to dangerous levels of hazardous chemicals.

OmniSource was found to have three serious violations involving lead exposure with up to $21,000 in proposed penalties.

Master Maintenance was also cited for two serious lead violations, with $9,000 in proposed penalties.

At CS Metals, three scrapyard workers were exposed to lead, arsenic, copper and iron oxide while torch-cutting steel because of CS Metals Inc. not providing proper protective equipment or health monitoring.

“CS Metals failed its workers by not providing personal protective equipment and monitoring exposure levels to metal dust, which can cause severe, long-term health effects to the central nervous system and vital organs,” said Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo, in a statement. “These violations must stop.”

Because of the violations, OSHA proposed penalties of $378,070 to CS Metals for five willful safety violations, nine serious violations and two repeated violations. The company was also placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

The company was cited for, among other things, overexposure to iron oxide, lack of hygiene and housekeeping practices, the same three violations it had at its Birmingham, Alabama, location in 2010.

The companies have 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference, or contest the findings, according to the release.

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