Sometimes, asking for help gets you more than you bargained for

Aug 26, 2005 | 06:07 AM | Paul Schaffer

Back in 2003, the safety director at OmniSource Corp. asked for federal advice on reducing hazards to employees at its Lima, Ohio, scrapyard.

Along with that advice, the Fort Wayne, Ind.,-based company also received a publicly available inspection report that offers insights on the sorts of risks faced by employees in the recycling field. The study was posted on the Web several weeks ago.

The short answer to OmniSource's main question Employee showers are mandatory for the burners and cutters who break up large metal pieces in Lima. Exposure levels would have to be reduced drastically for showers to be optional, the report says. Lima is a minor yard for OmniSource, with 35 workers in a company that has 1,450 employees.

The report was written by Manuel Rodriguez and Jeffrey Nemhauser of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh), a unit within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The text can be accessed via http//

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