Westinghouse agrees to fine to settle case
Westinghouse Electric’s Newington plant has agreed to pay $31,500 in penalties and use new procedures for welders who are exposed to hexavalent chromium, under a settlement with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Westinghouse, while admitting no wrongdoing, agreed to hire an independent consultant to assess the Newington plant’s compliance with OSHA standards on hexavalent chromium.
Mike Lattin, plant manager for Westinghouse Nuclear Components Manufacturing, said in a statement, “Westinghouse’s Nuclear Component Manufacturing facility located in Newington, New Hampshire, has resolved the issues noted in the citation through reaching a settlement agreement with OSHA. The health and safety of our employees and the public is always our number one priority.”
OSHA’s Concord area office issued a citation in March 2012 alleging Westinghouse Electric’s stainless steel component manufacturing exposed workers to hexavalent chromium higher than OSHA limits allow. The company initially faced $82,000 in proposed fines.
Chromium is a naturally occurring metal that is needed for human health in very small amounts, but some of its compounds with oxygen are toxic and the hexavalent form can cause lung cancer.
Under the settlement, which was finalized July 27, Cranberry, Pa.-based Westinghouse Electric also agreed to time lines for the independent consultant’s review. A written compliance plan for hexavalent chromium is due by Sept. 6 and its recommendations must be carried out by Dec. 31, 2012.
Westinghouse also agreed to a medical checkup for workers who perform shielded metal arc welding, to offer workers the chance to use tungsten inert gas welding instead of stick welding when possible and to train all workers who are issued a respirator in its proper use.
- - - - - - - -
Denis Paiste may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe for FREE!
Union Leader Business Newsletter
Memorial Day services, events around NH
NH tobacco cash proves a windfall
UPDATED: Derry marks a soldier's death
St. Anselm hockey eyes Division I
Just say it: Our fight is with radical Islam
The casino vote: The House did its duty