Following a complaint, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, initiated an inspection of Alstom Transportation Inc. in Hornell.
OSHA has fined Alstom $105,000 for 17 violations.
OSHA claims Alstom:
– Exposed employees to cadmium, lead, nickel and silica beyond permissible exposure limits.
– Failed to provide changing and shower areas to employees who worked with cadmium and lead, significantly increasing the likelihood of contamination outside the immediate work area – such as the lunchroom and break areas – and causing exposure to the chemicals while eating or drinking.
– Failed to provide employees exposed to lead and cadmium with required medical surveillance, allowed chromium, copper fume, iron oxide and silica exposure among employees in sandblasting and welding operations to exceed permissible exposure limits.
– Did not train painters to properly use or store respirators.
“Employers who work with hazardous materials like these need to first determine if the materials can be removed by replacing them with something less hazardous,” said Chris Adams, Syracuse OSHA area director. “If not, employers must use the correct ventilation to reduce airborne exposure levels to below the OSHA limits. These hazards are preventable when employers ensure safety guidelines are followed.”