TAV conducts a medical surveillance program for certain employees, as required by OSHA, according to a spokeswoman for the company.
Investigators also found the facility took few precautions to keep employees safe from getting caught in the heavy machinery used to process scrap metal, or to properly label hazardous chemicals used on site. According to the OSHA citation, inspectors found that on multiple occasions, “the employer exposed employees to hazards that could result in amputations.”
TAV is planning legal challenges to some of the alleged violations, but committed to working with OSHA going forward, the spokeswoman said.
“TAV maintains a desire to improve any potential issues identified by OSHA and fully cooperated with the inspectors,” the company said in a statement. “The facility has been correcting and addressing OSHA concerns noted throughout the inspections and has made tremendous steps while ensuring day-to-day safety during these improvements.”
TAV’s Empire Boulevard facility is still processing existing scrap metal located on the site, but is not receiving new material, the representative said.
TAV Holdings has been on regulators’ radar for years.
In January, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an emergency order warning that hazardous waste escaping from the TAV site could pose an “imminent and substantial endangerment” to the surrounding community. The agency required the company to cease all activity that could result in further releases.
An EPA investigation into hazardous waste stemming from the TAV plant did not find evidence of soil contamination on the campus of Long Middle School, which backs up directly to the facility. The EPA did find high levels of lead and other heavy metals in an unnamed creek that runs between the school and TAV’s plant. The creek eventually connects to the South River.
EPA spokeswoman Davina Marraccini said that the agency was continuing to oversee the company’s compliance with the terms of that order.
Other TAV facilities have also been cited by OSHA in the past for grave safety concerns. In 2019, a welder at the company’s plant in Greenville, Georgia was struck and killed in a forklift accident. The company was later fined $112,000 in a follow-up investigation, which found that even after the fatal accident, TAV had failed to make necessary safety improvements.