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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited aircraft manufacturer Spirit Aerosystems Inc. for exposing employees to hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen. The company faces proposed penalties totaling $194,006 for one willful and five serious violations.
OSHA investigators found that the Kansas-based defense contractor exposed employees to airborne concentrations of hexavalent chromium nearly two times the permissible exposure limit. It was also determined that the company failed to implement sufficient engineering and work practice controls to prevent exposure, conduct monitoring or sampling, provide training, and require employees to properly remove potentially contaminated personal protective equipment and clothing before leaving the sanding area.
"This company failed to protect their employees from exposure to a known carcinogen," said Ryan Hodge, OSHA's acting Wichita area office director. "Employers are required to continually evaluate their facilities for hazards and use the proper safety controls and equipment to keep their worksites safe and healthy."
Spirit Aerosystems has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
For more information, visit www.osha.gov.