Today's News / Compliance / Facility Safety

Union complaint leads to $117,000 in fines against Ill. company

Citations issued in August, October and December

OSHA has cited Arlington Metals Corp. for 38 safety and health violations, which carry proposed penalties of $117,000. The agency initiated a safety and health investigation in June in response to a complaint filed by the United Steel Workers Union alleging unsafe working conditions at the Franklin Park metal strip and coil processing facility. Violations include lack of a respiratory protection program, multiple instances of inadequate machine guarding and unsafe electrical work practices.

"These inspections reveal a pattern by Arlington Metals Corp. of failing to implement safety and health precautions," said Diane Turek, OSHA's area director for the Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines.

No machine guarding on radial arm saws

A total of 17 serious violations, carrying proposed penalties of $88,200, were cited Dec. 5, and involve failing to provide machine guarding on slitters and radial arm saws; complete periodic inspections of overhead cranes within the past 12 months; and to provide guardrails and energy control procedures. Several violations relate to electrical safe work practices, such as failing to provide covers on live transformers; prevent use of extension cords when fixed wiring is required; and provide electrical protective equipment, such as gloves, fire-retardant- rated clothing and eye and face protection. In addition, the company failed to evaluate and determine whether any of the five production pits were permit-required confined spaces.

Wood dust accumulations

Twelve other-than-serious violations involve failing to conduct personal protective equipment assessments; provide a written emergency evacuation plan; post load rating signs; maintain records of crane and rope inspections; train workers on energy control procedures; and poor housekeeping practices that allowed wood dust to accumulate and create a fire hazard.

Training, LOTO, respiratory protection citations

OSHA issued several citations in August and October, carrying proposed fines of $28,800, as part of the concurrent safety and health investigation. In August, OSHA cited three serious violations for lack of fire protection training; lockout/tagout procedures to control the unexpected operation of equipment during service and maintenance; and guarding against immovable fire hazards during welding operations. In October, the company received five serious citations for modifying a powered industrial truck without written permission from the manufacturer, and for failing to develop a written respiratory protection program, including medical evaluation, training and fit testing workers for proper respiratory equipment.'

Additionally, one-other-than serious violation cited in October involves lack of effective hazard communication training.

Arlington Metals Corp. employs approximately 110 workers.

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