News Release USDL: 95-205
Thursday, June 8, 1995
Contact: Deborah Page Crawford, (202) 219-8151
Midwest Metallics, L.P., Agrees To Pay $1 Million In Fines
Following OSHA Investigation Of Scrap Metal Recycler
Midwest Metallics, L.P., a scrap metal processor, has agreed
to pay $1,000,000, in penalties proposed by the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and make significant
improvements at its four operating facilities in the Chicago
area. The agreement follows an inspection by OSHA in response to
the Dec. 2, 1994, death of a company employee.
"The health and safety of America's workers is one of our
highest national priorities," said Secretary of Labor Robert B.
Reich, "not only at Midwest Metallics but at all six million
workplaces in this country."
"Proposed House and Senate budget resolutions to cut OSHA's
funding would totally devastate our efforts to fulfill OSHA's
Congressionally mandated mission of assuring safe and healthful
working conditions, "said Assistant Secretary Joseph A. Dear.
Midwest Metallics was recently purchased and many of the
hazards identified during this investigation existed prior to the
Midwest Metallics, the largest auto scrap recycler in the
midwest, has more than 200 employees who are represented by the
United Steelworkers of America and the Teamsters. Its four
facilities are located in Joliet, McCook, Argo and Stoney Island.
The OSHA area office in Calumet City conducted the
inspection following a Dec. 2, 1994, fatal accident involving a
forklift truck at its Joliet facility.
On Dec. 7, 1994, OSHA began a followup inspection to
citations issued previously at the McCook facility for failure to
conduct initial atmospheric lead monitoring. The investigation
revealed that employees were exposed to lead at levels as high as
24 times the permissible exposure limit (PEL), 10 times the PEL
for cadmium and above the action level for arsenic. Virtually no
protection was available to the employees.
Other major hazards cited related to poorly maintained
In addition to correcting the cited hazards and paying the
$1,000,000 penalty, Midwest Metallics has agreed to:
abate all items of the citation;
conduct comprehensive safety and health audits at all
four locations to identify and eliminate any and all
develop an action plan for each facility to respond to
the findings of the audits;
develop and implement a comprehensive, ongoing safety
and health training program covering all facilities.
OSHA is authorized by the Occupational Safety and Health Act
of 1970 to issue standards and rules requiring employers to
provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces and
jobsites, and to ensure through workplace inspections that those
standards are followed.