Dec. 8, 2015
Workers exposed to high levels of methylene chloride,
multiple hazards at Colona, Illinois, truck repair facility
I-80 Equipment cited for 33 serious violations, OSHA proposes fines of $133K
COLONA, Ill. - Workers were overexposed to the solvent methylene chloride and other hazards while they reconditioned bucket trucks at a Colona dealership and repair facility, inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found. When workers inhale and absorb the solvent through the skin, it can harm the heart and nervous system.
Following an inspection, OSHA cited I-80 Equipment LLC on Dec. 4, for 33 serious safety and health violations. Proposed penalties total $133,000.
"Proper respiratory protection and monitoring are vital when workers use solvents containing methylene chloride to strip, degrease and clean equipment," said Tom Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria. "Employers using chemicals in the workplace must take all precautions to protect the long-term health of workers."
OSHA opened an investigation at the facility after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions. The agency found numerous violations including the following:
- Lack of engineering controls to limit exposure to hazardous chemicals.
- Improper respiratory protection, maintenance and storage.
- Absence of fall protection.
- Failing to provide adequate eye protection* for torch cutting operations.
- Lack of personal protective equipment for chemical exposure.
- Electrical safety hazards.
- Exposing workers to fall hazards.
- Improper storage of compressed gas and oxygen cylinders.
- Allowing workers to consume food in areas where toxic materials were present.
- Inadequate worker training on hazardous chemicals used in the facility.
View current citations here*.
I-80 Equipment 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 amputations, eye loss, 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 Peoria Area Office at 309-589-7033.
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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Release Number: 15-2324-CHI
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.