October 1, 2007
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: (312) 353-6976
Federal action proposes $112,000 in penalties
CHICAGO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $112,000 in fines against Elliot Construction Co. Inc., Glen Ellyn, Ill., for alleged willful violations of federal workplace health standards following a workplace incident that led to the hospitalization of four employees suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
OSHA opened an inspection after learning of the hospitalizations resulting from overexposure to carbon monoxide at a Chicago worksite where the company was involved in constructing a new cold storage unit.
Three willful violations were issued alleging that the company failed to conduct air monitoring to determine employees' level of exposure to carbon monoxide, exposed employees to carbon monoxide above permissible levels, and did not implement administrative and engineering controls for exposure to carbon monoxide.
"The devastating effects of exposure to carbon monoxide are well documented and well known," said Gary Anderson, OSHA's area director in Calumet City, Ill. "Elliot Construction must ensure that its employees are protected against this highly toxic gas."
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 38,000 inspections last year and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last seven years. In fiscal year 2006, OSHA found nearly 84,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
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 assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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