H.M. Brown Enterprises and Bilco Construction Co. were cited by OSHA Wednesday for exposing workers to the dangers of lead poisoning, high noise levels and other job-related hazards.
Proposed penalties total $541,800.
H.M. Brown, d.b.a. as Raleigh Junk and Cramer Iron and Metal, is a scrap metal operation with four salvage yards in West Virginia.
Bilco is a construction company, working on the 72-year old Cotton Hill Bridge in Beckwith, W.V.
OSHA initiated an inspection of H.M. Brown on Aug. 9, 1999 under its inspection scheduling system for industries with high injury rates.
According to Stanley Elliot, area director of the Charleston OSHA office, this inspection yielded citations for three willful violations and 37 serious violations.
Some of these citations included the company's failure to adhere to OSHA's noise standard; employee overexposure to lead; and unsafe crane conditions.
A second inspection involving H.M. Brown began on Aug. 16, while the company was working as a sub-contractor for Bilco Construction on the demolition of the Cotton Hill Bridge.
H.M. Brown was cited again for similar violations as the previous citations as well as not requiring appropriate respiratory protection and not assuring that employees exposed to lead, showered and changed out of work clothes prior to going home.
Bilco was also cited for not developing a site exposure control plan, not conducting an initial lead monitoring, not posting lead warning signs and not requiring appropriate respiratory protection.
Both companies have 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply or contest the citations.