The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced citations against Barney’s, Inc., a firing range and police facility in Lafayette, La., after an employee notified the agency of unlawful lead exposure.
The inspection of Barney’s firing range began in January of this year. As a result, OSHA learned of 16 “serious” violations, according to its press release, stating the company was responsible for exposing employees to dangerous levels of lead due to the amount of spent ammunition rounds. The lead exposure is in direct violation of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection and Lead Standards.
OSHA investigators released the following list of violations weighing against Barney’s:
- Failure to provide medical evaluations.
- Failed to fit test and train employees prior to allowing them to use respirators.
- Allowed unshaven employees to conduct dry sweeping of dust containing lead that may prevent the respirator from sealing properly and allow particles to reach the individual’s nose.
- Exposed employees to airborne lead levels above the permissible exposure level.
- Did not provide showers and adequate decontamination units.
- Failed to conduct biological monitoring for blood lead levels.
- Did not maintain a hazard communication program.
OSHA has proposed penalties of $78,400 against Barney’s Inc., which does business under the name Barney’s Police Supply.
“Lead exposure can cause many serious health issues including brain damage, kidney disease and harm to the reproductive system,” Dorinda Folse, OSHA’s Area Director in Baton Rouge, told KATC regarding the company’s penalties. “The company must make immediate changes to its respiratory protection and lead program to ensure workers are not exposed to lead or carrying it home with them from their shift.”
Barney’s now has 15 days from the receipt of OSHA’s citations to either comply to the agency’s requests, coordinate an informal conference OSHA’s area director, or contest the citations and penalties altogether before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.