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Aircraft Parts Supplier Fined $308K for Toxic Substance Hazards

OSHA says employees at Kaman Air Vehicles faced exposure and possible overexposure to toxic substances during tasks.

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HARTFORD, CT β€” A Connecticut aircraft parts manufacturer did not take required steps to identify potential exposures and protect employees from hexavalent chromium and cadmium β€“ both known carcinogens – at its Bloomfield facility, a U.S. Department of Labor workplace safety inspection has found.

Inspectors with the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined employees at Kaman Air Vehicles faced exposure and possible overexposure to the toxic substances while electroplating, mixing and preparing, and painting and removing paint on small aircraft parts. OSHA conducted the inspection under its National Emphasis Program on Hexavalent Chromium.

OSHA cited Kaman for two willful, four serious and two other-than-serious violations, and proposed $308,168 in penalties. Specifically, OSHA inspectors found the company failed to:

  • Determine employees' exposure to hexavalent chromium.
  • Assess employees' overexposure to cadmium during plating operations.
  • Implement controls and work practices to reduce employees' overexposure to chromium.
  • Provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment, including chemical-resistant gloves and impervious aprons, and ensure their use.
  • Ensure exposed employees used effective respiratory protection.
  • Periodically examine nostrils of exposed employees.
  • Provide employees with appropriate information and training on chromium hazards.
  • Label tanks containing hazardous substances with information on the hazards associated with their contents.

β€œOur inspection found Kaman Air Vehicles failed to protect employees as required from potentially serious health conditions,” said OSHA Acting Area Director Christine George in Hartford, Connecticut. β€œThis employer must ensure a safe, healthful work environment by monitoring worker exposure, implementing controls to reduce and minimize exposure levels and provide employees with information about the toxic substances with which they work.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Kaman Air Vehicles is a division of Kaman Aerospace Corp., which conducts business in the aerospace and defense, industrial and medical markets. Bloomfield-based Kaman produces and markets proprietary aircraft bearings and components, among other products.

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