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Category Press Release
Publish Date 2/20/2024
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Battery Manufacturer Faces Costly Fine for Allegedly Exposing Workers to Unsafe Nickel Levels
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides industrial hygiene and environmental laboratory testing services, sampling supplies, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment to identify and mitigate exposure to a wide range of occupational hazards.

Cinnaminson, New Jersey, February 20, 2024

Last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it had cited a global electric vehicle battery manufacturer for six serious violations and one other-than-serious violation. The company faces proposed penalties of over $75,000.

Among the violations reported by OSHA, the company is alleged to have exposed employees working with cobalt, nickel and manganese to respiratory hazards by failing to complete a workplace hazard assessment; ensure employees were given clean, disinfected and sanitary respirators; and store respirators properly to protect them from material contamination. The employer is also accused of leaving workers handling bags of nickel powder vulnerable to respiratory hazards by not providing feasible administrative or engineering controls to reduce exposure levels.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workers may be harmed from exposure to nickel with the level of exposure depending upon the dose, duration and work being done. People can be exposed by breathing dust containing it, through skin contact, or by consuming food or water that contains nickel. A common health effect of nickel exposure is an allergic reaction and approximately 10-20% of the population is sensitive to nickel according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR). Less frequently, some people who are sensitive to nickel have asthma attacks following exposure. ATSDR also shares the fact that workers in nickel refineries or nickel-processing plants have experienced chronic bronchitis and reduced lung function by breathing elevated levels of it.

“The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that nickel metal may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen and that nickel compounds are known human carcinogens,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that some nickel compounds are carcinogenic to humans and that metallic nickel may possibly be carcinogenic.”

Dedicated to protecting workers and helping to keep companies in regulatory compliance are the industrial hygiene testing experts at EMSL Analytical, Inc. With laboratories across North America, EMSL offers testing services, sampling supplies, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment (PPE). They have even sponsored an educational video about nickel and potential exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/LRmOzFN2EiM 

To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, air quality, environmental, health and safety testing resources, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.

 

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOCs, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.


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