US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Illinois Gun Works for
exposing workers to lead, other hazards at Elmwood Park, Ill., plant
ELMWOOD PARK, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Illinois Gun Works Ltd. for 28 alleged health violations following a Jan. 21 inspection referred by the Illinois Department of Public Health that found two gun range operators were exposed to airborne lead levels up to 12 times the permissible level. Proposed fines total $111,000.
"Illinois Gun Works has a responsibility to protect the health of its employees by ensuring that they operate in a manner which eliminates or minimizes lead hazards, including exposure," said Diane Turek, director of OSHA's Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines. "OSHA is committed to protecting employees' safety and health."
A total of 27 serious violations include 13 for violating the lead standard, including failing to implement engineering and work practice controls to reduce exposure, collect full shift personal samples for monitoring, measure effectiveness of the ventilation system to control exposure, provide clean protective clothing, dispose of or replace protective clothing, provide clean changing rooms or separate storage facilities for protective work clothing to prevent cross-contamination with street clothes, require workers exposed to lead to shower at the end of a shift or to ensure workers washed hands and faces prior to consuming food during breaks, and implement a medical surveillance program for all employees who were exposed to lead at or above the action levels, including biological monitoring such as blood sampling.
The remaining serious violations include failing to implement a hazard communication program, train workers on hazardous chemicals present in the work environment, label chemical bottles with contents and a hazard warning, administer an effective hearing conservation program, train in the use of personal protective equipment and implement a respirator protection program that includes, fit testing and training. 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.
One other-than-serious violation has been cited for failing to provide a written certification that a hazard assessment had been performed. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The citations may be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/IllinoisGunWorksLtd_110282_0608_12.pdf*.
Illinois Gun Works operates a gun sales business, a shooting range and gun safety training. 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 Chicago North office at 847-803-4800.
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.
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.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.