The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited NEJ Abatement Group, Inc., an environmental hazard inspection and remediation company, for six serious violations involving lead hazards at a Pittsburgh worksite. The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported concerns about the company to OSHA, which conducted an inspection in April 2013 under its National Emphasis Program on Lead. The citations carry proposed penalties of $16,800.
OSHA found that NEJ employees were exposed to lead above the permissible limit and that the company failed to monitor workers exposed to lead and failed to conduct required lead sampling. NEJ also failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment, shower facilities, and changing areas and failed to conduct fit testing of respirators, the agency charged. OSHA also cited the company for lack of a lead compliance program and failure to post lead warning signs.
“Overexposure to lead is a leading cause of workplace illness and can result in a wide range of debilitating medical conditions,” said Christopher Robinson, director of the OSHA Pittsburgh area office. “The most effective way to minimize worker exposure is through engineering controls, best safety practices, training, and the use of personal protective clothing and equipment such as respirators where required.”