MANCHESTER, Iowa — A local battery manufacturing business recently was assessed a $42,000 fine for various workplace violations, including exposing employees to defective equipment and airborne toxins such as lead.
Exide Technologies, a lead-acid battery manufacturing company at 913 S. 10th St. in Manchester, was cited for five different Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations and originally faced a penalty of $70,089. The company later reached a settlement under which it would pay $42,000.
Exide Technologies officials did not respond to multiple requests seeking comment for this story.
Iowa OSHA began its initial inspection of Exide on Oct. 12, and completed a follow-up inspection in November. Citations were issued in February, according to a report OSHA officials provided to the Telegraph Herald.
OSHA officials would not say what prompted the state-run agency to investigate conditions at the workplace.
OSHA inspectors alleged that company officials did not adequately furnish the business; exposed employees to a “potential racking system collapse;” exposed two employees to “airborne contaminants;” and exposed employees to various hazards that could cause harm.
Each violation carried a fine ranging from $7,000 to more than $13,000. A business has 15 working days to reach a settlement with Iowa OSHA after receiving the citations before the charges no longer can be challenged, according to the citation and notification of penalty document.
A business must post a citation notice in a prominent area near each violation area.
“If posting near the site of each violation is not feasible, the citation must be posted where it will be easily seen by all affected employees,” investigators wrote in the citation document. “The citation must remain posted until the violation is corrected or for three working days, whichever is longer.”
OSHA officials would not provide details about the settlement negotiations.