OSHA: Shoot­ing range ex­posed peo­ple to lead

Toxic amounts of el­e­ment linked to Or­lando busi­ness

Orlando Sentinel - - BUSINESS - By Caro­line Glenn

An Or­lando shoot­ing range was forced to pay a for­mer em­ployee $30,000 af­ter fir­ing him for re­port­ing the range to the feds for toxic lead lev­els.

The Shoot­ing Range Gallery at 2911 39th St. was sued by the U.S. Depart­ment of La­bor in Or­lando fed­eral court. The dis­pute was set­tled Dec. 6.

Christo­pher Moore, who worked as a safety range of­fi­cer at the Shoot­ing Range Gallery at 2911 39th St. for a year and a half, re­ported the range to the Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion af­ter his chil­dren tested pos­i­tive for lead poi­son­ing dur­ing their sum­mer break from school in 2016.

Moore said he was wor­ried they might have been ex­posed be­cause of his job at the range, the law­suit says.

The chil­dren’s physi­cian re­ported the poi­son­ing to the Orange County Health Depart­ment, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit. It did not spec­ify how sick the chil­dren were.

Moore’s fi­ancee con­fronted his man­ager, Tracy Robert­son, at the range, but Robert­son told her “it was Moore’s own fault if he ex­posed his chil­dren to high lev­els of lead and that it was not the owner’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect him or take care of his hy­giene,” the suit states.

Moore’s fi­ancee in­formed the man­ager she planned to con­tact OSHA.

Robert­son later told Moore the range’s owner, Johnny Lwin, would prob­a­bly fire him, the suit says.

The next day, Moore sub­mit­ted a com­plaint to OSHA. About a week later, Robert­son fired Moore at the owner’s di­rec­tion, ac­cord­ing to the suit.

The law­suit, filed in Or­lando fed­eral court on Dec. 6, al­leged that Lwin re­tal­i­ated against Moore and that the de­ci­sion to fire Moore “de­ters em­ploy­ees from re­port­ing po­ten­tial safety and health haz­ards at the work­site and/or from co­op­er­at­ing with OSHA in fu­ture in­ves­ti­ga­tions.”

Lwin did not re­spond for com­ment.

Af­ter an in­spec­tion of the prop­erty, OSHA is­sued three ci­ta­tions to the shoot­ing range, “for ex­po­sure to three times the per­mis­si­ble amount of lead in the lobby and shoot­ing range, ac­cu­mu­la­tions of lead on sur­faces to re­quests around the range, and fail­ure to train em­ploy­ees on haz­ards as­so­ci­ated with lead in the work area.”

Moore also filed an ad­di­tional com­plaint with OSHA af­ter he was fired al­leg­ing that he had been dis­crim­i­nated against. OSHA in­ves­ti­gated and de­ter­mined the range had vi­o­lated the law.

As part of the set­tle­ment, Shoot­ing Range Gallery must post in­for­ma­tion about lead safety and pro­vide train­ing to em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion about “the right to re­port ac­tual or po­ten­tial vi­o­la­tions with­out fear of re­tal­i­a­tion.”

Moore could not be lo­cated for com­ment.

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