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Region 5 News Release: 12-1322-CHI
July 9, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:            312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites California-based Toxco for lead
overexposure, other serious violations at Lancaster, Ohio, plant

LANCASTER, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Toxco Inc. for 14 serious safety and health violations at the company's battery recycling facility in Lancaster, including failing to protect workers from overexposure to lead and cadmium. Proposed penalties total $59,400.

"Employers, especially those in industries where there is an inherent risk, have an obligation to protect their workers from exposure to dangerous chemicals," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's Columbus Area Office director. "It is imperative that employers make the commitment to safety and health to ensure that employees are not continually exposed to hazards such as these."

OSHA initiated an inspection Feb. 1 as a part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to industries with high injury and illness rates. The violations found involve allowing workers to be exposed to lead at up to eight times the permissible exposure limit and to cadmium at more than twice the permissible exposure limit during an eight-hour period. Other violations include failing to install engineering controls and implement work practice controls to maintain workers' exposure at levels below the permissible exposure limits, as well as monitor exposure levels on a periodic basis and repeat monitoring as needed. The company also has been cited for failing to evaluate the facility's ventilation system and implement an effective respiratory protection program