ANDOVER, MA – A Wilmington fabricator of advanced alloys failed to adequately protect its employees against exposure to the toxic substance beryllium adequately, a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection has revealed. OSHA inspectors found IBC Engineered Materials Inc., doing business as IBC Advanced Alloys Inc., overexposed employees to airborne concentrations of beryllium as they performed handheld grinding and parts fabrication operations on beryllium aerospace components in the plant’s foundry and grinding room. In addition, OSHA determined the Massachusetts company failed to do the following:Conduct follow-up beryllium exposure monitoring in a timely manner.Implement a proper exposure control plan and maintain adequate engineering controls to reduce and minimize employees’ exposures to beryllium.Allowed storage of beryllium-contaminated clothing in a personal locker with employees’ street clothes.Make sure reused and laundered protective coveralls were free of beryllium contamination.Provide an adequate change room for employees required to change into personal protective equipment.Keep workbench surfaces as free of beryllium as practicable.Dispose of rags, gloves, paper towels and other beryllium-contaminated items properly. Post an adequate warning sign. OSHA has cited IBC for 11 serious violations and one other-than-serious violation for these hazardous conditions and proposed $69,251 in proposed penalties. View the citations. “Beryllium is an important material needed in aerospace, defense and other industries, but is a highly toxic metal. Workers who inhale beryllium are at an increased risk of developing serious adverse health effects including chronic beryllium disease and lung cancer,” explained OSHA Area Director Sarah Carle in Andover, Massachusetts. “OSHA’s inspection found IBC Advanced Alloys Inc. failed to provide adequate and effective safeguards required to protect employees against this harmful hazard.”Based in Franklin, Indiana, IBC Advanced Alloys is a leading advanced alloys company serving the defense, aerospace, automotive, telecommunications, precision manufacturing industries, among others. Its Engineered Materials Division makes alloys, which can be precision cast and are used in an increasing number of defense, aerospace, and other systems, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. IBC has production facilities in Indiana and Massachusetts.The employer 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. Learn more about OSHA and beryllium hazards and safeguards.
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