Responding to a complaint of unsafe working conditions, OSHA inspectors observed employees at an Illinois metal fabricating shop over-exposed to noise and dust hazards while manually powder coating metal products in two of the company’s paint booths.

OSHA cited Watseka-based Lyon LLC for 15 serious safety and health violations.

Exposure readings taken by investigators indicated that at least two workers were exposed to dust and particles at more than six times the permissible exposure limit.

“Breathing in contaminates can cause long-term damage to the lungs, respiratory system and lead to major health complications,” said Tom Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria.

OSHA also found the company failed to:

  • Administer an effective hearing conservation program
  • Use gauges or alarms to monitor air velocity in the paint booth
  • Operate exhaust fans in paint booths to reduce hazards
  • Properly ground electrical equipment
  • Install automatic sprinklers or other extinguishing equipment for fire safety
  • Provide personal protective equipment
  • Train workers in the use of respirators and properly maintain the respirators
  • Clean dust and paint residue in a manner to prevent further exposure
  • Illuminate exit signs

Proposed Penalties: $76,000

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