Edsal Manufacturing faces $75,000 penalty from US Labor Department's
OSHA for blocking exit routes, other safety violations at Chicago facility
CHICAGO – Edsal Manufacturing has been cited with a $75,000 penalty by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for nine violations, including one repeat, for allowing stored materials to impede exit routes at the Chicago industrial furniture production facility.
"Edsal Manufacturing is putting workers at risk by allowing exit routes to be blocked," said OSHA Area Director Gary Anderson in Calumet City. "Companies must be aware of the need to keep emergency routes free of hazards and should take all possible precautions to minimize the risk of injury."
After receiving a complaint alleging unsafe work practices at the facility, OSHA began its inspection in April and determined that the company failed to provide unobstructed exit routes. In April 2011, the same violation was cited at the facility. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
The company was also cited for eight serious violations, including failing to train workers on the use of personal protective equipment; have a hearing conservation program and respiratory protection training and medical evaluation; implement engineering controls to reduce exposure to particulates; and prevent exposure to powder paint particulates in excess of permissible exposure limits. Several violations involve the powder coating spray areas and include combustible dust accumulation; poor housekeeping; use of nonapproved hand spraying equipment with ordinary wiring; lack of approved receptacles to capture nondeposited powder; releasing powder into the atmosphere; and using spraying equipment that was not interlocked with the ventilation systems.
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.
Since 2003, the company has been cited for 16 OSHA violations. The company manufactures metal industrial shelving, racks, furniture, cabinets, benches and desks. The Chicago facility employs 1,000 workers.
Edsal Manufacturing 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.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Calumet City office at 708-891-3800. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.