October 5, 2023: The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited US Battery Manufacturing for four violations on September 27. It found the company had exposed employees to unsafe levels of lead and said the firm faced $160,000 in penalties.
OSHA said investigations opened in May found the Augusta, Georgia, company failed to have engineering and work practice controls in place to reduce exposures to lead and did not prevent lead from accumulating on surfaces.
OSHA also said the deep cycle battery firm had exposed workers to lead levels in concentrations greater than permissible — and did not ensure employees’ respirators were cleaned and disinfected.
The violations followed others in 2018 and 2019.
A company spokesperson told Batteries International the firm was fully committed to ensuring the health and safety of its employees.
US Battery uses engineering and administrative controls, personal protective equipment and monitoring of lead exposure as required by the OSHA standard.
“We have invested tremendous amounts of time and money into these areas and our efforts have generated blood lead levels in all of our employees which are significantly lower than those required by OSHA,” the spokesperson said.
“We feel strongly that blood lead levels are the most effective measure of employee health and safety and continue to look for new ways to reduce them.”