US Department of Labor's OSHA proposes fines of $46,900 after
Celtic Environmental workers exposed to lead hazards
LYONS, Ill. – Employees of Celtic Environmental Inc. were exposed to lead paint hazards while conducting abrasive blasting operations on a viaduct located at Richards and Herkimer Streets in Joliet in October 2013. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for 10 serious safety violations, carrying proposed penalties of $46,900. OSHA initiated a complaint inspection of the site under the National Emphasis Program for Lead Exposure in Construction. Lead exposure can cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys and other organs.
"OSHA has specific regulations to protect construction workers from dangerous lead exposure on the job," said Richard Langenderfer, OSHA's acting area director in Calumet City. "OSHA standards require employers to implement engineering controls to reduce exposure, practice good hygiene to ensure lead dust and particles are not transported off the work site and to provide required and appropriate respiratory protection. Unfortunately, we found all these violations at this work site."
Ten serious safety citations were issued to the company. Eight of those violations involve failing to adhere to lead protection standards, including failure to:
- Collect samples and conduct biological monitoring to determine employee exposure.
- Implement a respiratory protection program.
- Provide appropriate protective clothing.
- Provide hygiene and changing stations to ensure lead was not transported from the site.
- Train workers on lead exposure.
- Establish and implement a compliance program.
Celtic Environmental was also cited for failing to secure pneumatic power tools to prevent injury and not providing hazard communication training to employees working with hazardous chemicals.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Celtic Environmental Inc., based in Lyons, specializes in lead, mold and asbestos abatement. 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.
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 Calumet City office at 708-891-3800.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.