OSHAAn Illinois company faces $100,000+ in fines after a sharp-eyed OSHA inspector noticed workers without PPE conducting demolition operations on a Chicago bridge that was coated with lead-based paint.

Illinois Central Railroad Co. has been cited by OSHA for one willful and six serious safety violations that carry proposed penalties of $110,500.

"It was unacceptable that Illinois Central Railroad Co. failed to follow safety and health standards that protected workers from the known hazards of lead exposure," said Gary Anderson, OSHA's area director in Calumet City.

Lead exposure can result in long-term health effects.

Illinois Central Railroad Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian National Railway, headquartered in Montreal. Illinois Central Railroad provides rail service throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Canada.

The six serious violations were for failing to provide:

  •  appropriate respiratory protection and protective clothing
  • changing areas and storage for street clothes to prevent lead contamination and the transfer of lead from the job site to home
  • hand-washing stations; and for
  • allowing consumption of food and drink in work areas where lead may be present.

The company was also cited for failing to utilize engineering controls, including water misting, long-handled torches and ventilation systems to reduce employees' exposure to lead.

The one willful violation was cited for failing to conduct initial monitoring of employees for lead exposure.

See current citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Illinois_Central_Railroad_Company_908810_1126_13.pdf*