$214,550 in Penalties to Cimbar Performance Minerals in Cadet, MO, for Exposing Workers to Hazardous Chemicals, Excessive Noise

 
Friday, February 18, 2011
 
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cimbar Performance Minerals in Cadet for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals and excessive noise levels at its drilling mud manufacturing plant. OSHA initiated an inspection of the facility in August 2010 in response to a complaint and alleges three willful, 18 serious and two other-than-serious violations of health and safety standards. Proposed penalties total $214,550.

"Workers were not protected from the hazards of exposure to lead and arsenic and to excessive noise levels while working in the ore crushing facility," said Charles Adkins, OSHA regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "The company needs to address these issues quickly and sufficiently to ensure the safety and health of its workers, and the workers of other employers who purchase and use its product."

Willful citations were issued for not providing workers with an effective hearing conservation program, not providing hearing protection for workers exposed to excessive noise levels, and a lack of training for employees who operate powered industrial trucks. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health. Proposed penalties total $136,500.

Serious citations were issued for worker exposure to lead at levels exceeding the permissible exposure limit; failure to conduct initial monitoring for lead and arsenic exposure; failure to provide appropriate protective work clothing, medical monitoring and bathroom facilities for workers; noise levels exceeding the permissible exposure limit without hearing protection for workers; and manufacturer material safety data sheets lacking the identity, health hazards, exposure limits and carcinogenic information of the chemicals manufactured at the worksite. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Proposed penalties total $78,050.

Two other-than-serious citations with no penalties were issued for failure to provide eye protective side shields and fire extinguisher training for all workers. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Cimbar Performance Minerals has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in St. Louis or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's area office in St. Louis; telephone 314-425-4249. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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