CALL 6: Carrier knew of lead concerns for months

Posted at 7:17 PM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 19:27:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Carrier is planning to take additional steps to resolve a lead issue inside its warehouse on the west side of Indianapolis. The company has used a scrubber inside the facility to deal with the problem, but it says more steps are being planned.

The United Steelworkers Union Local 1999 tells RTV6 that it hopes all worker health concerns are addressed now, before the plant phases out operation beginning in 2017. The company in a previous email said worker health and safety are a top priority.

CALL 6 | Carrier fined for 'serious' lead violation

A major unknown is the source of the lead. There are several nearby possibilities close to the Carrier plant, but state regulators have to pinpoint who’s to blame. Carrier points out that none of its processes at the furnace-making facility produce lead. The lead dust discovery, called a “serious” violation by IOSHA, is contained to the warehouse and not to the production area where the company employs a large portion of its workforce.  

Call 6 Investigates reporter Rafael Sanchez sent an email to Carrier with pictures of what appeared to be lead dust on parts inside the warehouse. Sanchez asked if those parts are cleaned and how long the scrubber had been in operation. His questions were not directly answered, though we did get the following statement:

"The health and safety of our employees remains our top priority and because of this we have implemented additional cleaning measures.  In addition, we are working with an outside expert to develop and implement a longer-term comprehensive cleaning plan at this time."