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Victory White Metal Co. is facing $61,600 in fines for 12 safety and health violations, including five repeat violations, at its Cleveland lead products manufacturing facility, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

“It’s unacceptable that Victory White Metal Co. failed to correct problems identified previously and continues to allow workers to be exposed to excess lead, which can cause long-term health problems,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “Companies must implement safeguards, create a culture of safety and protect workers from the hazards that exist in their facilities.”

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Five repeat violations involve failing to:
• Ensure workers were not exposed to lead above permissible exposure limits
• Use engineering controls to lower employee exposure to lead
• Have work rests in place and properly adjusted on grinders
• Have tongue guards in place and properly adjusted on grinders
• Have covers in place on electrical equipment

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company faced the same violations in 2009 at this facility.

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Six serious violations involved lack of machine guarding on lathes, cutoff machines, belts, pulleys, chains and sprockets; failing to close unused openings in circuit breaker panels; not requiring employees exposed to lead to shower at the end of shifts; and failing to secure cylinders of compressed gas to prevent tipping.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

One other-than-serious violation was for failure to conduct periodic, annual evaluations of documented lockout procedures. An other-than-serious safety violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

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