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U.S. Department of Labor | Dec. 9, 2015

Painters exposed to dust more than 6 times OSHA's permissible limits
at Watseka, Illinois, metal fabricating shop

Company faces $76K in OSHA penalties

Employer name: Lyon LLC, Watseka, Illinois

Citations received: Dec. 3, 2015

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Peoria Area Office cited the metal fabrication company for 15 serious safety and health violations.

Responding to a complaint of unsafe working conditions, inspectors observed employees over-exposed to noise and dust hazards while manually powder coating metal products in two of the company's paint booths.

OSHA's Sept. 24, 2015, exposure readings indicated that at least two workers were exposed to dust and particles at more than six times the permissible exposure limit.

OSHA also found the company failed to:

  • Administer an effective hearing conservation program
  • Use gauges or alarms to monitor air velocity in the paint booth
  • Operate exhaust fans in paint booths to reduce hazards
  • Properly ground electrical equipment
  • Install automatic sprinklers or other extinguishing equipment for fire safety
  • Provide personal protective equipment
  • Train workers in the use of respirators and properly maintain the respirators
  • Clean dust and paint residue in a manner to prevent further exposure
  • Illuminate exit signs

Quote: "Breathing in contaminates can cause long-term damage to the lungs, respiratory system and lead to major health complications," said Tom Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria "Companies like Lyon must be aware of the hazards associated with metal dust present in its facility and take all actions necessary to control the health risks to employees."

Proposed Penalties: $76,000

View Citations here*:

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.

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Media Contacts:
Scott Allen, 312-353-6976,
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-6976,

Release Number: 15-2382-CHI

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