In the wake of the Delaware County mercury exposure incident associated with Environmental Remediation Services, the decisive role of the Occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gained public appreciation. The company was fined $142,000 for willful violation of the OSH Act of 1970, and had 14 citations issued against it. Mercury vapors, when inhaled over short or long duration, can lead to several biological complications such as anxiety, anorexia and fatigue. The omission of respiratory protection equipment (RPE) is completely imprudent in such hazardous settings.
Safety at workplace is identified as the employer’s responsibility. Sheer negligence is the underlying reason for most cases of regulatory violations. While in some of them, the employer tries to avoid the expenditure on protection equipment, for they consider it as “auxiliary.” The imposition of penalties on defaulters ensures strict adherence to the regulatory frameworks. However, technological advancements in the respiratory protection equipment market have helped enterprises actually stick to the guidelines.