While electroplating machine parts, workers were exposed to live electrical hazards at a Cicero, Illinois, manufacturing facility because their employer failed to follow federal safety and health requirements.
Following an inspection, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Electronic Plating Co. on Dec. 10 for one willful, eight repeated, eight serious and one other-than-serious safety and health violation. Proposed penalties total $157,080.
"OSHA inspectors found multiple preventable safety and health hazards in this facility, eight of which Electronic Plating violated in 2011," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. "Employers cited for repeated violations are failing their employees and their obligation to provide a safe and healthy working environment."
OSHA opened an investigation at the facility after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions. The agency found numerous electrical violations, as well as the following:
- Failure to implement a continuing, effective hearing conservation program.
- Lack of personal protective equipment for metal and other hazardous chemical exposure.
- Inadequate worker training on hazardous chemicals used in the facility.
- Lack of medical examinations to monitor employee exposure to chromic acid and cadmium.
- Workers exposed to operating mechanical and electrical parts because equipment lacked guards.
- Unsanitary conditions.
- Powered industrial trucks were not inspected, and operators lacked required training.
Electronic Plating employs approximately 30 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.