OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release 04-328-CHI
March 24, 2004
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: (312) 353-6976
PEORIA, Ill. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $462,600 in fines for Midwest Racking Manufacturing, Inc., of Madison, Ill., for failing to protect workers from numerous workplace hazards OSHA identified in a recent inspection and eight previous inspections.
The investigation found that the company has consistently failed to correct grave and potentially disastrous workplace hazards, including the lack of such basic worker protections as personal protective equipment, machine guarding, fire prevention measures, safety training, fall protection, and lockout/tagout procedures.
"To ensure that injury and illness rates continue to decline, we must make sure that employers protect employees from workplace hazards," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant penalty of $462,600 in this case demonstrates this Administration's commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers."
The current fine and OSHA citations follow an inspection initiated in September 2003, following receipt of a complaint. The inspection led to 17 alleged serious violations and 23 alleged willful violations ranging from electrical hazards and smoking permitted within 20 feet of a spray painting operation to a lack of eye and foot protection and improper use or lack of the use of respirators. OSHA has cited the company numerous times since 1995 and has failed to correct identified hazards in spite of offers of free assistance through OSHA's consultation services. Midwest manufactures metal storage rack systems.
The inspection was conducted by OSHA's area office in Peoria. The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
In fiscal year 2003, OSHA conducted almost 40,000 inspections, an increase of more than 2000 inspections over 2002 levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. For more information, visit www.osha.gov. The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting the health and safety of America's workers.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.
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