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Region 5 News Release: 13-1976-CHI
Oct. 31, 2013
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:       312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

Northstar Metal Products cited by US Labor Department's OSHA for multiple
violations following April explosion and fire at Glendale Heights, Ill., plant

GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Ill. – Northstar Metal Products has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 11 safety and health violations following an April 1 dust collector explosion and ensuing fire at the Glendale Heights sheet metal production facility. Two workers were injured, one of whom suffered face, arm and hand burns. OSHA has proposed fines of $51,480.

"Manufacturing companies using materials that cause combustible dust particles-hazards that are unique to their industry-must take precautions to avoid potential explosions and injuries," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in North Aurora. "Employers must be aware of hazards at their work sites and take preventive measures."

One repeat violation was cited for failing to control hazardous energy. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A similar violation was cited in 2011 at this facility.

Among the 10 serious violations, one involved OSHA's general duty clause and failing to control hazards from aluminum dust. The other violations include a lack of machine guarding, respiratory protection, fall protection and hazard communication programs; inadequate or missing signage; improperly maintained fire extinguishers; lack of a confined space program and violations of safe electrical work practices. 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 exists.

The company has previously been cited for 11 violations during seven OSHA inspections.

Northstar Metal Products 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 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.


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