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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-08-836-DAL
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Contact: Diana Petterson Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972-850-4709 972-850-4710


U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA fines battery manufacturer $71,000 for safety violations at Fort Smith, Ark., worksite

FORT SMITH, Ark. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Exide Technologies Inc. with 22 serious, two repeat and one other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards and has proposed penalties totaling $71,000 for allegedly failing to protect employees from exposure to lead and cadmium.

"It's important for employers to properly monitor their employees' exposure to hazardous substances such as lead and cadmium," said Paul Hansen, OSHA's area director in Little Rock, Ark. "The effects of exposure to substances such as these can cause both short- and long-term consequences."

OSHA's Little Rock Area Office began its inspection of the lead acid batteries manufacturer on January 8 at the company's worksite on South Zero Street in Fort Smith. The investigation found alleged serious violations including the company's failure to: properly fit test respirators; implement an adequate lock-out/tag-out system to prevent machines' unintended startup; guard sprocket wheels and chains; ensure electrical cords were properly connected; protect employees from lead exposure; and monitor exposure to and institute a training program for