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OSHA Hits Chicago Paint Shop for $75K

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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Blocked exits, lack of ventilation and combustible dust in the paint shop have drawn federal citations and fines to a Chicago company that coats and manufactures industrial shelving and storage.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Edsal Manufacturing for nine violations, eight serious and one repeat, carrying $75,000 in proposed penalties.

The citations stem from an April inspection that OSHA launched after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe work practices at the facility. During its inspection, OSHA determined that the company failed to provide unobstructed exit routes—something the company was also cited for in April 2011.

Edsal Manufacturing
Edsal Manufacturing

OSHA cited Edsal Manufacturing for nine alleged violations, including blocked exit routes and combustible dust accumulation.

The company manufactures metal industrial shelving, racks, cabinets, benches and other products. It employs 1,000 workers at its Chicago facility.

'Putting Workers at Risk'

"Edsal Manufacturing is putting workers at risk by allowing exit routes to be blocked," Gary Anderson, OSHA area director in Calumet City, said in a statement Thursday (Sept. 12).

"Companies must be aware of the need to keep emergency routes free of hazards and should take all possible precautions to minimize the risk of injury," Anderson said.

According to OSHA, Edsal Manufacturing has been cited for 16 violations since 2003.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Nine Violations Cited

The repeat violation, which carries a proposed fine of $25,000, alleges that stored items were blocking exit routes by one of the powder coating lines. Repeat violations occur when an employer has been cited for the same or a similar violation within the last five years.

combustible dust hazards
OSHA

Ventilation systems were dropping powder back into the spray area, and combustible dust was building up in powder coating areas at Edsal Manufacturing, OSHA alleges.

Eight serious violations include:

  • Slip, trip and fall hazards where scrap metal pieces were used to fill uneven floor surfaces ($5,000);
  • Exit route near the powder coating cabinet line blocked by uneven and broken scraps of wood ($7,000);
  • Continuous noise exposures in the cabinet and home line powder painting booths ($6,000);
  • Insufficient ventilation, combustible dust accumulation, and electrical hazards in the touch-up powder coating areas ($7,000);
  • Ventilation in the touch-up powder coating spray areas was designed to release powder into the atmosphere and drop powder into the spray area, rather than removing and containing it ($7,000);
  • Employees in the powder coating areas were not trained on the use of personal protective equipment ($5,000);
  • Employees in powder coating areas were not medically evaluated or properly trained before wearing respiratory protection ($6,000); and
  • Exposure to particulates and airborne dust in the home line powder coating booth ($7,000).

Serious violations exist when there is a substantial probability of death or serious injury from a hazard the employer knew or should have known about.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, contest the findings, or request an informal conference.

   

Tagged categories: Combustible Dust; Fall protection; OSHA; Personal protective equipment; Powder spray booths; Respiratory Protection Standard

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