Company Fined Nearly $500,000 for Failing to Prevent Work-Related Accidents in South Carolina and Elsewhere

Welch Group Environmental LLP of Belton was recently cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to take the appropriate measures to help prevent work-related accidents in South Carolina and on its other work sites. OSHA recently conducted an investigation into one of the company’s work sites and noted nearly 20 different health violations. At the work site in question, Welch Group Environmental was hired to help to clean a shooting range and reclaim the lead. After the investigation on this site, OSHA officials concluded the company failed to protect workers from overexposure to lead. All of the fines totaled a penalty of nearly $500,000.
Darlene Fossum, OSHA’s area director near the work site, says the company “acknowledged…the dangers associated with lead exposure but continued to allow hazards to exist.”

Our South Carolina workers compensation attorneys understand the inspection into the dangerous work site started back in July as a part of OSHA’s regional and national emphasis programs for lead. Welch Group Environmental LLP was handed more than 10 willful violations, which came with a total of more than $460,000 in penalties. The company was found to be in violation for several oversights, including:

-Neglecting to provide protection benefits to employees on lead exposure;

-Neglecting to give workers respirators;

-Failing to provide employees with the proper bodily protections;

-Failing to monitor the lead levels in employees’ blood;

-Failing to provide employees with changing rooms and shower facilities.

In addition to all of those violations, the company also allowed employees to dry sweep and shovel areas that were contaminated with lead and allowed the workers to have been exposed to levels of lead that were far above the allowable limit.

Welch Group Environmental LLP was also handed nearly five additional serious violations totaling nearly $17,000 in penalties.

Serious Violations:

-Neglecting to make sure workers who were wearing the respirators didn’t have facial hair that could have interfered with the seal.

-Not providing the proper respirators to employees who were exposed to levels of lead that were 10 times higher than the maximum concentration.

-Failing to provide employees with blood level test results.

-Neglecting to provide workers with a blood sample analysis, including serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, zinc protoporphyrin, hemoglobin and hematocrit determinations.

Lastly, the company received two more violations with final penalties of just over $1,000 for neglecting to label containers properly that housed protective clothing and for failing to create and enforce a written hazard communication program.

OSHA has required that the company undergo even more inspections to make sure that the proper changes have been made to help to protect its employees.

If you, a coworker or a loved one has been injured or killed in a work-related accident or needs to file a disability claims contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for help regarding your case. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free initial consultation to discuss your rights today.

More Blog Entries:

Office Safety Important for Reducing Workplace Injuries in Winston-Salem, elsewhere, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, January 24, 2012

Caution Urged for North and South Carolina Employees Required to Wear Respirators, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, January 30, 2012

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