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October 12, 2023
Massachusetts manufacturer cited for beryllium exposures

IBC Engineered Materials Inc., a Wilmington, Massachusetts, manufacturer, overexposed employees to airborne concentrations of beryllium, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced October 11.

IBC, which does business as IBC Advanced Alloys Inc., was cited for 11 serious violations and 1 other-than-serious violation for the hazardous conditions and faces proposed penalties totaling $69,251.

Employees were exposed to airborne concentrations of beryllium as they performed hand-held grinding and parts fabrication operations on beryllium aerospace components in the plant’s foundry and grinding room, according to OSHA.

Agency inspectors also determined that the Massachusetts employer failed to do the following:

  • Conduct follow-up beryllium exposure monitoring in a timely manner.
  • Implement a proper exposure control plan, and maintain adequate engineering controls to reduce and minimize employees’ exposures to beryllium.
  • Make sure reused and laundered protective coveralls were free of beryllium contamination.
  • Provide an adequate change room for employees who are required to change into personal protective equipment.
  • Keep workbench surfaces as free of beryllium as practicable.
  • Dispose of gloves, paper towels, rags, and other beryllium-contaminated items properly. 
  • Post an adequate warning sign. 

IBC also allowed storage of beryllium-contaminated clothing in personal lockers with employees’ street clothes, according to the agency.

“Beryllium is an important material needed in aerospace, defense, and other industries, but is a highly toxic metal,” Sarah Carle, OSHA’s Andover, Massachusetts, area office director, said in an agency statement.

“Workers who inhale beryllium are at an increased risk of developing serious adverse health effects including chronic beryllium disease and lung cancer. OSHA’s inspection found IBC Advanced Alloys Inc. failed to provide adequate and effective safeguards required to protect employees against this harmful hazard.”

Franklin, Indiana-based IBC Advanced Alloys is a leading advanced alloys company serving the aerospace, automotive, defense, precision manufacturing, and telecommunications industries, according to OSHA.

Florida roofers facing $174K OSHA penalties for fall violations

A1A Roofing Contractor LLC of Loxahatchee, Florida, faces $163,044 in OSHA penalties for 2 willful violations, 1 repeat violation, and 3 serious violations, the agency announced October 6. Paul Bange Roofing of Davie, Florida, faces $10,938 in penalties for a cited serious violation. 

The 2 Florida contractors exposed 12 workers to fall hazards without required fall protection at a Davie worksite, according to OSHA.

During an inspection, agency personnel observed employees of A1A Roofing working without fall protection on pitched roofs at heights of up to 32 feet. They also found that the subcontractor allowed one worker to use a broken harness and failed to train employees on how to recognize and prevent falls.

The agency also learned that the primary contractor, Paul Bange Roofing, hadn’t conducted regular inspections, as required, to prevent A1A workers from being exposed to fall hazards. 

“Our inspectors found the primary contractor and subcontractor at a Davie work site failing to protect workers from the risks of falls from elevation, the construction industry’s leading cause of death,” Condell Eastmond, OSHA’s Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area office director, said in a statement. “Fall dangers are widely known in the roofing industry as are the protections that employers must legally use to prevent them, so neither A1A Roofing nor Paul Bange Roofing have a valid excuse for putting their workers in jeopardy of serious or fatal injuries.” 

OSHA’s construction industry fall protection standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1926.501) has remained the agency’s most frequently cited standard for 12 years, cited 5,260 times in fiscal year (FY) 2022.

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