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Dec. 15, 2015

Illinois metal plating company exposes workers
to noise, toxic metal, other hazards at Cicero plant
OSHA proposes fines of more than $157K for 18 violations found at Electronic Plating Co.

CICERO, Ill. - While electroplating machine parts, workers were exposed to metal, machinery and live electrical hazards at a Cicero manufacturing facility because their employer failed to follow federal safety and health requirements. Exposure to metals - such as cadmium used in the plant - can harm the heart, nervous and digestive systems.

Following an inspection, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Electronic Plating Co. on Dec. 10 for one willful, eight repeated, eight serious and one other-than-serious safety and health violation. Proposed penalties total $157,080.

"OSHA inspectors found multiple preventable safety and health hazards in this facility, eight of which Electronic Plating violated in 2011," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. "Employers cited for repeated violations are failing their employees and their obligation to provide a safe and healthy working environment."

OSHA opened an investigation at the facility after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions. The agency found numerous violations, including the following:

  • Failure to implement a continuing, effective hearing conservation program.
  • Lack of personal protective equipment for metal and other hazardous chemical exposure.
  • Electrical safety hazards.
  • Inadequate worker training on hazardous chemicals used in the facility.
  • Lack of medical examinations to monitor employee exposure to chromic acid and cadmium.
  • Workers exposed to operating mechanical and electrical parts because equipment lacked guards.
  • Unsanitary conditions.
  • Powered industrial trucks were not inspected, and operators lacked required training.

View current citations here*.

Electronic Plating employs approximately 30 workers. 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 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 Calumet City Area Office at 708-891-3800.

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

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Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-6976,
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-6976,

Release Number: 15-2384-CHI

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*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.