Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin-based Milwaukee Valve Company Inc. is facing $171,628 in fines for exposing employees to lead and copper dust at rates higher than the permissible exposure levels, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The industrial valve manufacturer is facing 18 serious violations and 1 other-than-serious violation.

Following a July 2019 inspection, OSHA cited the company for failing to implement adequate engineering and work practice controls to reduce employee exposure to lead, and train foundry employees on the hazards of lead and cadmium exposure.

In addition, OSHA cited the company for violations related to respiratory protection, and walking and working surfaces.

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“Chronic exposures to lead, copper and other metal dusts can result in long-term health issues, such as lung and nervous system damage,” said OSHA Madison Area Director Chad Greenwood. “Employers must provide personal protective equipment to employees working with toxic metals, and take appropriate steps to minimize worker exposure.”

OSHA’s Lead and Cadmium webpages provide information on the health effects from exposure to these metals, and options for controlling exposure.

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