Lyons firm cited by OSHA for exposing workers to lead hazards - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Lyons firm cited by OSHA for exposing workers to lead hazards

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LYONS, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Employees of a west suburban company were subjected to lead paint hazards while working in Joliet last year, and as a result, the firm is facing nearly $47,000 in fines, according to federal regulators.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday announced it has cited Lyons-based Celtic Environmental for 10 serious safety violations and proposed penalties of $46,900, a statement from OSHA said.

The firm, which specializes in lead, mold and asbestos abatement, was cited after employees doing abrasive blasting on a viaduct at Richards and Herkimer streets in Joliet in October 2013 were not properly protected from lead hazards, according to OSHA.

The agency later inspected the site under the National Emphasis Program for Lead Exposure in Construction, and has now issued 10 serious safety citations, including eight failing to adhere to lead protection standards, the statement said.

Lead exposure can cause nervous system, kidney and other organ damage, according to OSHA.

"OSHA has specific regulations to protect construction workers from dangerous lead exposure on the job," Richard Langenderfer, acting area director of the Calumet City office, said in the statement.

"OSHA standards require employers to implement engineering controls to reduce exposure, practice good hygiene to ensure lead dust and particles are not transported off the work site, and to provide required and appropriate respiratory protection. Unfortunately, we found all these violations at this work site," he said.

The safety infractions included:

— failing to collect samples and conduct biological monitoring;

— failure to implement a respiratory protection program;

— failure to provide appropriate protective clothing;

— failure to provide hygiene and changing stations;

— failing to train workers on lead exposure; and

— failure to establish and implement a compliance program.

Celtic also failed to secure pneumatic power tools to prevent injury and provide hazard communication training to employees working with hazardous chemicals, according to OSHA.

The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference or contest the findings.

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