Lead and Respiratory Hazards at Gun Shop

CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH – An investigation by OSHA has found that employees at an Ohio gun shop may face life-long health damage because their employer continues to expose them to lead hazards and has failed to establish a respiratory protection program.

On May 24, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration placed Pro Armament Company LLC, a gun range and shop that sells firearms and accessories and also provides instructional classes in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program after the company failed to correct serious violations identified in a November 2014 inspection. The agency issued two failure to abate and six serious safety and health violations to the company, which faces total proposed penalties of $194,400.

Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland said: “failing to correct conditions that cause serious health hazards is unacceptable. Eliminating exposure where possible, using engineering controls and personal protective equipment such as respirators and protective clothing, as well as properly cleaning lead dust can limit worker exposure and prevent workers from bringing contamination home to their families, especially young children.”

OSHA’s November 2015 follow-up inspection found that Pro Armament overexposed workers to lead.

In addition, the company:

  • Did not monitor workers’ exposure to lead.Failed to train workers on respiratory and lead hazards;
  • Failed to provide protective clothing such as shoe covers;
  • Did not provide clean changing rooms or require employees to shower at the end of a work shift to prevent lead contamination; and
  • Lacked housekeeping procedures to remove lead from surfaces such as cash registers and tables.

According to NIOSH, outdoor and indoor firing ranges can be contaminated with high levels of lead and lead dusts, as this video demonstrates.