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Region 5 News Release: 09-972-CHI
Sept. 4, 2009
Contact: Brad Mitchell or Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-6976

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA levies $275,000 fine to Metal Improvement Co. in Lombard, Ill.

LOMBARD, Ill. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Metal Improvement Co., doing business as E/M Coating Services in Lombard, with alleged serious and repeat citations of federal workplace safety and health standards. Proposed penalties total $275,000.

Based on a referral from another public agency alleging numerous fires and other safety issues, OSHA began a safety and health inspection at the Lombard site in March.

The safety inspection revealed 10 serious and six repeat violations with proposed penalties totaling $155,000. Some of the serious safety hazards include various electrical and equipment issues, lack of a spray booth sprinkler system and fire hazards in a spray booth. Some of the repeat violations addressed fall protection deficiencies, improper oxygen cylinder storage and other specific electrical hazards. The company had been cited for these violations in previous inspections.

The OSHA health inspection found 10 serious and three repeat violations with proposed penalties totaling $120,000. Some of the serious health hazards include a lack of personal protective equipment, confined entry space violations, a lack of emergency eyewash and shower facilities where required and problems with respirator equipment fit. Repeat violations pertain to the company's failure to evaluate if areas are permit-required confined spaces, training deficiencies and failure to provide an eyewash in an area where corrosive materials are used.

"OSHA has inspected this company on five occasions going back to 1997, resulting in numerous violations, including many we found again on this most recent inspection," said OSHA Area Director Kathy Webb, North Aurora, Ill. "It's time for this indifference to employee health and safety to stop."

The company, which provides decorative metal coating and blasting metal services, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Nationwide, the company employs more than 500 workers with 20 in the Lombard facility.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit


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