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Region 5 News Release: 12-1921-CHI
Sept. 27, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:         312-353-6976

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites COM2 Computers and Technologies
in Carol Stream, Ill., for exposing workers to lead, other hazards

CAROL STREAM, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited COM2 Computers and Technologies LLC for 11 alleged serious safety and health violations, including finding airborne lead above the permissible level in a March 30 inspection prompted by a complaint. Proposed fines total $67,320.

"COM2 Computers and Technologies is responsible for protecting the health of its employees by ensuring that they operate under minimum exposure to lead hazards," said Kathy Webb, director of OSHA's Chicago North Aurora Area Office. "Companies with hazardous materials on work sites have an obligation to monitor exposure and train workers."

Lead exposure may cause adverse health effects such as central nervous system, urinary or reproductive damage.

In addition to allowing exposure to lead concentrations greater than 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour period, violations relating to lead involve failing to implement engineering and work practice controls to reduce exposure, collect full shift personal samples for monitoring, measure the effectiveness of the ventilation system to control exposure, provide clean protective clothing, provide clean changing rooms, install shower facilities and require end-of-shift showers, keep lunchroom surfaces free from lead accumulation, and implement a medical surveillance and respiratory protection program for all employees who have been exposed to lead at or above permissible level, as well as removal of lead dust via dry sweeping instead of vacuuming.

The remaining violations involve failing to train workers in lead hazards and other chemical exposure in the facility, implement machine guarding, not stack materials and avoid struck-by hazards, and provide helmets in areas with potential falling objects. 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.

COM2 Computers and Technologies recycles computers, monitors and other electronic equipment. This inspection was OSHA's fifth in the Carol Streams facility; the last citations were issued in July 2010. 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 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 North Aurora office at 630-896-8700.

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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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 227-693-7828 or TTY 227-693-7755.

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