Lead Dust Leads to OSHA Fines for Chicago Company

Workers were exposed to a high volume of lead dust during sandblasting operations.

After workers were exposed to lead dust, a Chicago company has been fined $196,000 by OSHA. An investigation of Waclaw Cilulko, working as American Masonry, Inc., showed that workers sandblasting a building site were exposed to the harmful lead dust.

Seven willful violations were cited. They included "failing to implement a written lead compliance program, provide personal protective equipment, provide clean changing rooms or separate storage facilities for protective work clothing to prevent cross-contamination with street clothes, and vacuum and remove lead dust from the work site," in addition to others outlines on the OSHA website.

The Chicago-based company is one of several other companies operated by Waclaw Cilulko, which has been investigated 39 times since 1978, receiving 137 citations from OSHA.

"When employers such as American Masonry knowingly ignore health requirements, they are unduly placing their workers at risk for illnesses, and that is unacceptable," said Nick Walters, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago, in a statement on the OSHA website. "Lead exposure can cause serious neurological damage, among other illnesses."

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