Chemical Exposure Cited at Truck-Bed Manufacturer

Chemical Exposure Turns Into Large OSHA FileChemical exposure, along with several other violations prompted the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue citations to Oklahoma-based truck bed manufacturer, BigTex Trailer Manufacturing Inc., which does business as CM Truck Beds. Multiple infractions, including, 20 serious, one willful, and three repeat violations involved a failure to properly assess and maintain equipment and potential chemical exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, carried a $535,411 proposed penalty.

On July 13, 2016, OSHA conducted an investigation which determined that employees, involved in spray painting and powder coating, did not receive their required medical evaluations or respirator fit-tests. As well, OSHA determined that there was a repeated incidence of a failure to proof-test chain slings or provide adequate welding protection for employees. OSHA also determined that employees operating hydraulic press-brakes were doing so without adequate machine guards in place. These were cited in addition to serious chemical exposure.

In addition to those aforementioned violations, OSHA also determined that the following violations existed:

• Failure to maintain overexposure safety standards in spray booth
• Failure to properly cover floor holes
• Failure to ensure exits are accessible and properly labeled
• Failure to properly store compressed gas tanks
• Failure to properly label chemicals
• Failure to devise or implement hazardous energy control program
• Failure to maintain safety standards for operation of powered industrial trucks.
• Failure to inspect and implement safety guards for chain slings and sprockets
• Failure to implement safety guards for portable grinder

OSHA Oklahoma City area director, David Bates, said, “CM Truck Beds has created an environment where workers may be seriously injured or killed, as the scope of these violations clearly shows. We will not allow this company to continue to disregard worker safety.”
Chemical exposure hazards are among the most pervasive and dangerous in the general industry workplace. One resource that safety leaders can utilize to ensure HAZWOPER compliance and the safety of their employees is an online training-course.