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A Wisconsin manufacturer of steel pipes and tubes is facing $110,458 in proposed fines from federal workplace safety regulators who found 13 serious violations at a company facility.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration found at least one employee at Marshfield, Wisconsin-based Felker Brothers Corp. was exposed to excessive levels of hexavalent chromium, OSHA said Friday in a statement. In its investigation, OSHA determined that a grinder operator was exposed to hexavalent chromium at levels 1.8% higher than the permissible exposure limit.
Another worker suffered severe injuries after being struck by a moving piece of machinery, according to the release. The worker was hospitalized after suffering a shattered jaw and concussion.
In addition, OSHA found the company used damaged cranes, altered forklifts without manufacturer’s approval, failed to inspect jacks and allowed combustible materials to be stored within 35 feet of welding and hot work.
“Welding and hot work on stainless steel, high chrome alloys and chrome-coated metal is one of the most common ways workers are exposed to hexavalent chromium,” OSHA Area Director Chad Greenwood, in Madison, Wisconsin, said in the statement. “Exposure can cause respiratory tract, skin and eye irritation.”
A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s web-based form to allow employers to electronically submit required injury and illness data has been temporarily suspended due to a potential security breach.