Continuing allegations of respiratory protection hazards have prompted new federal citations and fines against a Chicago-area coating and waterproofing contractor.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued five citations—including four for repeated violations—against Allied Waterproofing Inc., of Willowbrook, IL, after an inspection during a concrete repair project at a Chicago parking garage.
Allied Waterproofing Inc.
|OSHA accuses the company of respiratory protection and noise hazards.|
OSHA has inspected the company’s work sites four times since 2007, resulting in 23 violations. The latest inspection was performed in April under OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Silica.
The federal program targets work sites where employees are at risk for developing silicosis from exposure to dust containing respirable crystalline silica. Silicosis is a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by breathing in a large amount of silica.
The company said it did not wish to comment on the citations at this time.
OSHA issued citations for four repeat violations, including allegedly failing to:
• Ensure that air compressors used to supply breathing air were equipped with high-temperature and/or carbon-monoxide alarms;
• Provide medical evaluations to employees required to use a respirator; and
• Maintain an effective hearing conservation program.
The violations carry $53,200 in proposed penalties.
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.
Similar violations were cited at a Rolling Meadows job site in 2007 and 2008, OSHA said.
OSHA also alleged one serious violation, carrying a proposed fine of $3,500, for failing to annually conduct fit testing for workers who wear respirators.
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.
“Employers are responsible for establishing a safe environment and providing workers with the equipment necessary to remain safe on the job,” said Diane Turek, director of OSHA’s Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines. “Companies issued citations for repeat violations show a disregard for worker safety and health. OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job.”
Allied Waterproofing Inc. performs concrete restoration and repairs. Its waterproofing services include elastomeric deck coatings, protected membranes, expansion joints, concrete repair and replacement, and caulking and sealers.