Metal Finishing Firm Hit with $151,400 in Fines for Physical, Chemical Hazards

OSHA opened an inspection after receiving a report that employees were performing small parts plating operations without protection against chemical and physical hazards.

OSHA has cited Electronic Plating Co. in Cicero, Ill., for 22 health and safety violations. OSHA opened an inspection after receiving a report that employees were performing small parts plating operations without protection against chemical and physical hazards. Proposed fines total $151,400.

"Electronic Plating Co. has a responsibility to ensure that its workers are protected from exposure to hazardous chemicals and noise," said Gary Anderson, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. "Employers are required by law to ensure that work environments are healthful and safe. OSHA is committed to protecting the health and safety of workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."

Two willful health violations involve failing to implement a hearing conservation program and failing to provide eye wash stations for workers exposed to corrosive chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. Proposed fines for the willful violations total $77,000.

Nine serious health violations involve failing to provide periodic health examinations intended to detect overexposure to hazardous chemicals for employees working with chromic acid; failing to provide and train employees in the use of protective clothing; failing to provide and require the use of protective eye equipment; failing to institute medical surveillance, as well as provide training, for employees potentially exposed to cadmium above the action level; failing to properly label containers of hazardous materials and train employees on protection from hazardous chemicals; and failing to develop and implement a written hazard communication program.

Seven serious safety violations involve failing to provide standard guardrails, implement an energy control program, provide workers with personal protective equipment to guard against electrical hazards, properly train forklift operators, and provide guarding on machinery. Proposed fines for the 16 serious violations total $71,400.

Four other-than-serious violations, with proposed fines of $3,000, involve failing to record work-related injuries and illnesses as required on the OSHA 300 log, provide lavatories with both hot and cold or tepid running water, and provide a written respiratory protection program for voluntary use.

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