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February 24, 2016

OSHA fines Berlin manufacturer $47K

OSHA is proposing a $46,287 fine of Budney Overhaul & Repair Ltd. Inc. in Berlin, which specializes in the repair and overhaul of various aviation engine and airframe components, after employees were exposed to the carcinogen hexavalent chromium, according to a U.S. Department of Labor news release today.

Responding to a complaint, OSHA inspectors found several hazards associated with the use and presence of hexavalent chromium at 131 New Park Drive and cited the company for 12 violations of workplace safety standards. According to the release, inspectors found: employee overexposure to hexavalent chromium, failure to monitor exposure levels and lack of controls to reduce exposure levels; failure to train employees and provide them information on hexavalent chromium hazards and safeguards; failure to assess and provide personal protective equipment for exposed employees; not requiring employees to remove contaminated clothing at the end of the work shift; and allowing employees to enter eating and drinking areas while wearing contaminated clothing.

The inspection also identified fire and burn hazards due to improper storage and disposal of flammable materials and failure to remove ignition sources from areas where flammable vapors were present.

“Employees faced unknowing and needless exposure to an occupational carcinogen as well as potential burns and fires,” Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford, said in the release. “For the health and well-being of its employees, Budney Overhaul and Repair must take effective and comprehensive corrective action to eliminate these hazards and prevent them from occurring again.”

The company has 15 business days from receiving its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the release said.

The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

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