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Region 5 News Release: 11-1336-CHI
Oct. 4, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976       312-353-4807
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Future Environmental in Mokena, Ill., for
exposing workers to respiratory, other hazards; fines total more than $122,760

CHANNAHON, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Future Environmental Inc. of Mokena for one willful health and nine serious safety violations. OSHA inspectors found that workers were exposed to respiratory and confined space hazards while cleaning waste tanks used to store petroleum hydrocarbons at a job site in Channahon. Proposed fines total $122,760.

"Failing to identify hazards, provide appropriate personal protective equipment and monitor workers puts them at an unacceptable risk for injury or illness," said Gary Anderson, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure that work environments are healthful and safe."

One willful health violation with $69,300 in fines was cited for failure to ventilate to eliminate or control respiratory hazards and failing to provide continuous atmospheric monitoring of permit required confined spaces during entry. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Nine serious safety violations with $53,460 in fines involve failing to provide personal protective equipment; failing to identify and evaluate respiratory hazards; fit test and conduct medical evaluations for respirator use; and train employees in permit-required confined space procedures, including rescue member training and notification; and utilizing rescue entry equipment. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

These citations are available at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Future_Environmental_Inc_315157024_1003_11.pdf*

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. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Calumet City Area Office at 708-891-3802. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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


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