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Friday, April 3, 2015

MANUFACTURER FACES $294,000 IN OSHA VIOLATIONS FOR FAILING TO TRAIN WORKERS IN SAFETY PROCEDURES

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Edsal Manufacturing repeatedly allows safety hazards, faces more than $294K in fines
Citations for staffing company for failing to train temporary workers in safety procedures

CHICAGO — Left unguarded, dangerous machines with moving parts cause hundreds of thousands of workers to suffer finger, hand or foot amputations and other serious injuries each year in the United States. Despite these dangers, one Chicago-based manufacturer has repeatedly ignored the risks and has been found in violation of safety and health standards four times in the last five years.
Edsal Manufacturing Co. was inspected again in September 2014 by U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators and cited for five repeated and 16 serious safety and health violations, including electrical hazards and failing to train workers in forklift operations and machine hazards. Edsal faces proposed penalties of $294,300 and has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

"When a machine lacks safety features, one slip and a worker can lose a hand," said Kathy Webb, area director of OSHA's Calumet City office. "With stakes this high, Edsal Manufacturing must ensure the safety and health of its 1,200 employees. This company has shown, time and time again, it does not take worker safety seriously. That attitude needs to change."

Responding to a complaint, agency investigators saw workers endangered by machine hazards. While operating mechanical power presses, workers were exposed to unguarded foot pedals, point of operation and chains and sprockets. The inspection resulted in five repeated violations. Edsal Manufacturing was cited for similar violations at this same facility in 2010 and 2012. The company also failed to store pallets of paint properly; provide training to workers on hazardous chemicals in the workplace; maintain fire extinguishers; inspect cranes periodically for safety issues; and provide welding screens and eye protection. Electrical safety hazards and lack of training were also noted.  A total of 16 serious safety and health violations were issued.

OSHA has also cited KG Payroll & Staffing Services Corp., which provides temporary labor to the plant, for failing to train workers on personnel protective equipment needed for the job and the potential hazards of chemicals used in the facility. The company has a contract with Edsal Manufacturing to provide training for any temporary workers it assigns to the plant. The Berwyn company was issued two serious safety violations with proposed penalties of $11,000.
An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer was previously cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.