Feb. 12, 2015
Mercury Products Corp. fails to train, protect temp workers
from mechanical and electrical hazards
OSHA cites Schaumburg, Illinois, company for 25 safety and health violations
Employer name: Mercury Products Corp.
Inspection site: Mercury Products Corp., 1201 S. Mercury Drive, Schaumburg, Illinois
On Aug. 13, 2014, a safety and health inspection was initiated at Mercury Products Corp., by the Chicago North Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after receiving a formal complaint. The company employs about 120 temporary employees in addition to its permanent workforce of about 110.
Investigation findings: OSHA investigators noted 11 safety and 14 health violations.
One repeat safety violation was cited for failing to properly train and supervise workers operating mechanical presses. Mercury Products was cited for this same violation in June 2010.
Additionally, five serious safety violations were noted for not protecting workers from moving parts of machinery, providing employees personal protective equipment, and exposing workers to electrical hazards.
Mercury Products Corp. also failed to provide hearing protection and audiometric testing for employees, which can identify premature hearing loss. Noise-related hearing loss is one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns in the U.S., with an estimated 30 million people occupationally exposed to noise each year. This exposure can cause permanent hearing loss that neither surgery nor a hearing aid can correct. Other serious health violations involved failing to train workers about hazardous chemicals and products used in the facility and monitor exposure to hexavalent chromium, which can occur during "hot work," such as welding on stainless steel. Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen.
The company also received 10 other-than-serious violations for not recording workplace injuries and illnesses, providing information on respirators and properly labeling containers of hazardous chemicals.
An OSHA violation is serious if death or physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists. A repeat violation is issued when the company has been cited for the same or a similar violation within the past five years.
The Schaumburg facility produces metal parts for the automotive industry.
Proposed Penalties: $86,130.
Quote: "Temporary workers are entitled to the same safety and health protections as direct hire and permanent employees. No worker should be exposed to dangerous operating parts of machinery, noise hazards or chemicals without the proper safeguards, equipment and training," said Angeline Loftus, OSHA's area director at the Chicago North Area Office. "Mercury Products Corp.'s repeat violation is an indication that the safety of its workforce is not a priority."
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines at 847-803-4800.
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Release Number: 15-204-CHI
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