An OSHA investigation begun after workers at an Illinois manufacturer had to be treated for exposure to toxic gas has resulted in multiple citations against the company.

OSHA is proposing penalties totaling $216,253 against Cleary Pallet Sales Inc., a Genoa, Illinois-based pallet manufacturer. Ten of the company’s employees required emergency medical treatment for carbon monoxide exposure in January 2018.

OSHA investigators inspected the facility and found that employees were exposed to carbon monoxide levels nearly 10 times the permissible exposure limit. OSHA has cited Cleary Pallet Sales Inc. for:

  • failing to address high carbon monoxide level warnings
  • allowing employees to operate defective forklifts
  • failing to ensure adequate machine guarding; and
  • failing to train workers on hazardous communications and forklift safety.

A subsequent inspection conducted one month later found further machine safety violations at the facility.

"Employers are required to regularly conduct workplace hazard assessments to determine appropriate measures to protect workers’ safety and health," said OSHA Aurora Area Office Director Jake Scott. "This employer risked the health of several workers, and disregarded basic safety standards."