respirator hazards

OSHA Cites Connecticut Contractor for Mercury and Respirator Hazards

CONCORD, New Hampshire – OSHA cited Manafort Brothers, Inc. for exposing workers to mercury and respirator hazards while they dismantled a mercury boiler at a Portsmouth worksite. The Plainville, Connecticut, construction contractor faces penalties of $329,548.

OSHA’s inspection – in response to workers’ complaints – found that employees were being exposed to high levels of mercury during the demolition and Manafort Brothers Inc. was not taking steps to reduce those exposures to below permissible levels. In addition, the company did not evaluate the respirator program’s effectiveness in protecting workers against exposures and did not consult with the employees to identify and correct any respirator problems.

“These hazards were certainly preventable,” said OSHA’s New Hampshire Area Director Rosemarie O. Cole. “High mercury exposure can result in permanent nervous system and kidney damage. It is critically important that employers remain vigilant and ensure that effective safeguards are in place to prevent and minimize workers’ exposures.”

In total, OSHA cited the company for two willful and six serious violations concerning mercury, respirators, protective clothing, and sanitary conditions.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed 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.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.