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GRNC Alert 6-29-12 OSHA Targets Another Shooting Range

rotorhead

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GRNC Alert 6-29-12: OSHA Targets Another Shooting Range

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Category: GRNC Alerts
Published on Friday, 29 June 2012 22:23
Posted by Web Volunteer
Hits: 3

Federal inspectors slam Illinois shooting range with an OSHA inspection and trump up minor infractions with excessive fines as a result

In yet another “under the radar” hit on the gun industry as a whole on the part of the Obama Administration, Federal OSHA inspectors again cited another shooting range for “serious” violations and levied excessive fines as a result. The report released by OSHA (found here: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=22524 ) shows that some “serious” violations were found and recorded, as well as the fines related to each item. But when you take a look at most of them, it appears that minor infractions were elevated into seemingly serious conditions which jeopardized the health of the employees.

Instead of realistic violations which could harm employees, the report is filled with minor infractions. Such things as simply picking up an extracted bullet from the floor appears to be a major issue for OSHA, yet hundreds of thousands of gun owners handle ammunition daily around the country and there isn't an epidemic of lead poisoning as a result.

Whereas the simple act of sweeping the floor to collect spent brass casings would normally be an accepted practice, OSHA has declared that range employees should dress up in protective suits and wear respirator devices for the task. As well, the hearing protection used by range employees appears to be inadequate according to Federal inspectors. Their suggestion to remedy this issue: Install acoustic sound absorbing material on the walls and limit your ammunition to .22 cal or less. That may work in laboratory settings, but limiting training to such calibers is definitely not going to help maintain the proper training level for the real world situations you face every day with your choice of protection.


A Concerted Effort

The Obama Administration has shown that it will work “under the radar” to achieve its goal of limiting the individual rights of gun owners and the gun industry. While not confronting gun owners directly through legislative proposals, this Administration has worked behind the scenes to dismantle individual rights and the gun industry as a whole. Its latest ploy is to send out OSHA hit squads to shooting ranges around the country and levy excessive fines as a means to accomplish what they are sent out to do. Fines which virtually are impossible to pay, thereby effectively forcing the temporary or permanent closure of shooting ranges and gun clubs as a result.

The Federal Government has no limit of financial resources to tap into. Small family-owned shooting ranges have more limited budgets and can be bankrupted through excessive fines for frivolous reasons. In terms of OSHA inspectors running roughshod against the gun industry as whole and targeting small businesses that operate shooting ranges, the only real question left is: Who will be next?





Immediate Action Required




Call and email US Senators:
Sen. Richard Burr; Phone: (202) 224-3154; Fax: (202) 228-2981; http://www.burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
Sen. Kay Hagan; Phone: 202-224-6342; Fax: 202-228-2563; http://www.hagan.senate.gov/contact/
Call and email YOUR US Representative, whom you can find by going to: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.html
(Note: You will need your 9-digit zip, which can be found on your driver's license.)
Ask them to investigate the latest examples of abuse at the hands of OSHA



Deliver This Message




Suggested Subject: Investigate OSHA Abuse of Shooting Ranges



Dear [Senator or Representative]:

Recent reports of OSHA teams being used to shut down local shooting ranges for reasons ranging from frivolous to fraudulent which them deem as “serious” are outrageous. This has happened recently at ranges in Illinois and Florida. Massive fines designed to bankrupt these ranges were levied for so-called “serious violations.

This is nothing more than a back-door attempt to limit the rights of the gun-owning public by the Obama administration through strong arm tactics. This is gun control, pure and simple without the political calculation of doing it legislatively. These deceptive tactics must be investigated. I am counting on your leadership in this matter. Stop these outrages. INVESTIGATE OSHA NOW.

I eagerly await your response and will be monitoring this issue through Grass Roots North Carolina alerts.

Sincerely,



A Concerned Voter


Copyright Info




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© 2012 GRNCFFE, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction and distribution is permitted provided full attribution is given and the item is reprinted in its entirety. Address questions to: President@GRNC.org
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davidmcbeth

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I was an OSHA safety officer for a chemical company .. so I understand the OSHA standards and OSHA methods of enforcement and am familiar with the violations that the company got cited for..

2 main issues: noise and lead
Other : MSDS issue

Noise can be abated by better hearing protection (muffs + plugs can get the noise down to being OK) .. everyone knows a gunshot is ~120 decibels .. I've never seen OSHA make recommendations like they have here (lower caliber projectiles) ... so this is an easily solved issue ... acoustic tiles are not a bad idea


Lead on the other hand is another matter. The lead exposure (due to dry sweeping mainly) is clearly a concern ...

The employer clearly needs help to get this lead issue under control (and its out of control in this instance ~ hardly OSHA improperly clamping down) --

I think the employer knows the hazard should be addressed (he gives respirators to his workers) but he does not have the knowledge of how to address the problem correctly.

Bring contaminated clothing into the office space and where you eat? Come on ... and yes, lead exposure is very serious -- it can mess you up!

They only have in indoor gun range ... no outside range that I can see .. http://www.illinoisgunworks.com/gunrange/gunrange.htm .. a little 25 yd range, 10 lane range...


And OSHA fines cannot overburden a business .. they are not meant to be punitive ... so, they'll do what they can and the fines will drop to about 15-20K ...
 

rotorhead

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
862
Location
FL
I was an OSHA safety officer for a chemical company .. so I understand the OSHA standards and OSHA methods of enforcement and am familiar with the violations that the company got cited for..

2 main issues: noise and lead
Other : MSDS issue

Noise can be abated by better hearing protection (muffs + plugs can get the noise down to being OK) .. everyone knows a gunshot is ~120 decibels .. I've never seen OSHA make recommendations like they have here (lower caliber projectiles) ... so this is an easily solved issue ... acoustic tiles are not a bad idea


Lead on the other hand is another matter. The lead exposure (due to dry sweeping mainly) is clearly a concern ...

The employer clearly needs help to get this lead issue under control (and its out of control in this instance ~ hardly OSHA improperly clamping down) --

I think the employer knows the hazard should be addressed (he gives respirators to his workers) but he does not have the knowledge of how to address the problem correctly.

Bring contaminated clothing into the office space and where you eat? Come on ... and yes, lead exposure is very serious -- it can mess you up!

They only have in indoor gun range ... no outside range that I can see .. http://www.illinoisgunworks.com/gunrange/gunrange.htm .. a little 25 yd range, 10 lane range...


And OSHA fines cannot overburden a business .. they are not meant to be punitive ... so, they'll do what they can and the fines will drop to about 15-20K ...

I was the same but for a different industry.

The pattern that OSHA is revealing here smacks of nothing but a hit job on the shooting range industry. Some of the violations appear valid, some appear not to be, especially the amount of fines tagged onto each one.

They make them excessive in order to then negotiate them lower as part of the compliance phase. If they view the business as not being compliant, the fines will remain the same virtually shutting down the business.

It's no secret that this President has chosen to work "under the radar" when it comes to handling the gun industry and it's many related businesses. He introduces no legislation proposals and instead sends his hit squads in via OSHA to harass and disrupt businesses.

We both know OSHA can find any number of "violations" for every inspection they conduct, no matter how prepared and sterile the business is. I believe this practice will hit more and more shooting ranges in the near future in the effort to compile data which will then be used for massive Federally mandated overhauls of the industry- something he couldn't do with straight up legislation.
 

ncwabbit

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Nov 2, 2011
Messages
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rural religious usa
Sorry GRNC is jumping up and down needlessly since according to the 12 June OSHA Regional News Release it was the Illinois Dept of Public Health who called OSHA in to do a site visit. The Feds did not institute the visit on their own as GRNC alert would have you believe!!!!!!

As an EH&S manager in an industry covering a myriad of OSHA mandated facets, and after reading the cited violations, the actual violation write ups seem to disagree w/GRNC’s interpretation of “…it appears that minor infractions were elevated into seemingly serious conditions which jeopardized the health of the employees. “

Sorry, these are not minor infractions but jeopardize the health and wellbeing of this organization’s employees and is rather an employer’s complete systemic disregard of established federal safety guidance!! An employer failing to have an established hazard abatement, hearing conservation, or appropriate signage program deserves to be slapped w/a monetary fine to get their attention.

I empathize with the employees not being afforded appropriate hearing protection nor the establishment of a viable hearing conservation program or control of PEL of airborne and digested contaminants or the establishment of hazard communication and abatement programs.

Just like in everyone’s sphere of safety responsibility, either in the work place or in the safe handling of firearms, there are rules w/consequences intended to assure everyone has a safe work and play environment.

wabbit
 
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Skinnedknuckles

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
108
Location
Connecticut
I agree with the Occupational Safety experienced posters that lead and noise are serious concerns and the employer has a responsibility to protect their employees.

That said, it really torques me when OSHA trumpets these press releases where they have acted to "protect workers", then you notice that it is 6 months between when they identify these "dangerous" conditions and when they inform the company of the infractions. And that isn't a new practice, unfortunately. As a prior company president, if any inspector/auditor found something we were doing that was not in compliance (quality, safety, environmental, or anything else) I wanted to know immediately so I could fix it. In cases where an inspector/auditor found a non-compliance and told us about it when they identified it, we almost always had it fixed before that inspector/auditor left the premises or had already filed an objection to the finding of non-compliance. It's when they found something but didn't tell us until later that I got mad with the inspector/auditor. I was always mad with myself (the buck did stop here) when they did identify a valid non-compliance.
 

Baked on Grease

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Jul 4, 2011
Messages
629
Location
Sterling, Va.
Ok, some of you are jumping to the defense of OSHA a little too quickly here, I think. The last article I read for this went into detail about the infractions and they really were minor or just plain made up. About the noise issue, yes it can be serious... Can be.... Can not is. Water 'can be' dangerous, doesn't mean it is. They were cited because they used electronic muffs instead of standard muffs... Anyone who has used a good pair if electronic muffs can attest that they work better than standard ones. Next is the lead issue, yes lead can be dangerous.... Can be.... Can not is. Have there been studies to assess the severity of lead related illneses for gun range employees? If not, then it seems OSHA is blowing smoke and screaming fire. I don't recall hearing any lead poisoning horror stories from gun ranges, and lord knows there's plenty of gun range employees in the US. To the poster who said it was not Feds that initiated that last inspection... Do you really think Obama or one if his aides or even one if his aides aides is going to personally call OSHA to get the ball rolling? And don't forget how many close ties Obama has to Illinois and chicago... He's got plenty of contacts and buddies there to make something like this happen without even indirectly associating himself.

Sent from my SCH-I800 using Tapatalk 2
 
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