April 2, 2015
Workers exposed to asbestos hazards at A.M. Castle & Co. in Franklin Park
Employer name: A.M. Castle & Co.
Investigation site: 3400 N. Wolf Road, Franklin Park, IL, 60131
Date investigation initiated and what prompted inspection: On Sept. 25, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Chicago North Area Office initiated an inspection of the metal service center that engages in wholesale distribution of metal and steel stock, after receiving a complaint. The complaint alleged various safety and health hazards including occupational exposure to asbestos, insufficient training for employees on asbestos in the workplace, and lack of permit-required confined space procedures.
Investigation findings: OSHA issued two repeated and five serious violations.
"A.M. Castle has a responsibility to train its workers in the hazards of being exposed to asbestos and confined spaces," said Angeline Loftus, OSHA's area director in Des Plaines. "Asbestos exposure can cause long-term and irreversible damage to the lungs. A. M. Castle needs to re-evaluate this facility and correct these hazards immediately."
Two repeated violations the company was cited for include:
- Not providing awareness training to employees who perform housekeeping operations in areas that contain asbestos or presumed asbestos containing material.
- Not making a copy of the OSHA Asbestos Standard readily available and accessible to affected employees.
The company was previously cited for these violations on March 28, 2012. OSHA issues repeated violations when an employer has been previously cited for the same or a similar violation in the past five years.
Five serious violations were cited for:
- Not evaluating the workplace to determine if any confined spaces were permit-required.
- Not posting danger signs or notifying employees of a permit-required confined space.
- Not developing and implementing a written permit-required confined space entry program.
- Failing to inform employees, who perform maintenance in areas where asbestos is present, of the presence, quantity and location of asbestos containing material or presumed asbestos containing material which might have been contacted during such work activities
- Failing to ensure training on asbestos was in accordance with OSHA standards.
- Failing to provide annual asbestos training to employees involved in Class IV asbestos operations.
Proposed Penalties: $59,720
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 at 847-803-4800.
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Release Number: 15-522-CHI
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