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Repeat safety violation at gun shop exposes workers to lead

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has added an Ohio armament company to its list of severe violators. This follows the agency's determination that the business owner had taken no action to rectify safety hazards identified during an inspection in November 2014. During a follow-up visit in November 2015, the agency found that every safety violation previously identified still existed.

Reportedly, employees at the gun shop were exposed to lead that poses severe health hazards. Housekeeping failures allowed lead particles to accumulate on work tables and cash registers. The company also failed to provide employee training to ensure workers are aware of the dangers of lead exposure. No protective clothing or respiratory equipment was provided to workers at the gun shop.

OSHA inspectors were particularly concerned about the failure to provide protective clothing and the lack of facilities for workers to shower and change into different clothing at the end of their shifts.  This could allow the dangerous lead particles to be transferred to the homes of the workers. Here, the families of the employees were exposed to the same health hazards that threatened the lives of their loved ones at the armament company.

Employees in Ohio who are suffering the health consequences of a safety violation such as exposure to dangerous materials may pursue financial assistance through the workers' compensation insurance system. If they find it difficult to pinpoint the date of onset of the condition, proving the illness to be work-related may be challenging. The help and support of an experienced workers' compensation attorney may help victims to obtain compensation to take care of medical expenses and lost income.

Source: norwalkreflector.com, "OSHA: Lead, respiratory hazards at gun shop endanger workers", May 26, 2016

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