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Sick Employees and Failure to Protect Workers from Metalworking Fluids Results in OSHA Penalties

EMSL Analytical provides air and liquid testing services to identify fungi, bacteria and microbial toxins in metalworking fluids.

Chicago, IL – WEBWIRE

In March, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a Wisconsin company for exposing workers to metalworking fluids (MWFs) after three employees were diagnosed with occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), a debilitating lung disease. The company faces penalties of over $26,000 for two serious health violations.

OSHA initiated an inspection at the company’s automotive aluminum castings manufacturing facility in August of last year after receiving a medical referral. The agency then cited the company for failing to protect the employees from exposure to airborne metalworking fluids during machining operations and failing to evaluate respiratory hazards.

Exposure to MWFs has long been known to have potential health consequences. Workers can be exposed to breathing aerosols generated in the machining process, or through skin contact when they handle parts, tools and equipment covered with the fluids. Water-based metalworking fluids can support microbial growth, which could also introduce biological contaminants into a worker’s environment. If these fluids are not properly maintained or changed frequently, contaminants may become established and grow exponentially.

“According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), approximately 1.2 million workers in positions involving machine finishing, machine tooling, and other metalworking and metal-forming operations could potentially be exposed to metalworking fluids on the job,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To prevent illnesses and costly OSHA penalties, proactive sampling of MWFs can identify contaminants. Air sampling around workers can also be instrumental for determining if people are at risk of breathing these substances.”

Helping companies that utilize MWFs for manufacturing are the scientists at EMSL Analytical, Inc. They offer comprehensive MWF analyses and air sampling, along with all the sampling supplies and equipment needed to submit samples. They have also sponsored an educational video about metalworking fluids and microbial hazards that can be seen at:

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

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 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, VOC’s, 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 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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 occupational health
 industrial hygiene
 metalworking fluids

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