A suburban Chicago computer recycler was recently cited by federal regulators for maintaining an unsafe workplace that exposed its workers to dangerous levels of lead during full-time shifts. Lead exposure can result in numerous health consequences such as central nervous system damage and other injuries that may form the basis of workers’ compensation claim. It is unclear whether any workers at Carol Stream’s COM2 Computers and Technologies LLC were sickened by the unsafe lead levels present in the company’s facility.
Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed over $67,000 in fines against COM2 for 11 serious workplace safety violations. The safety violations include allowing workers to be exposed to unsafe lead concentrations in the air, failing to test workers for lead exposure, and failing to keep lunch spaces free from lead accumulation, among other things.
“COM2 Computers and Technologies is responsible for protecting the health of its employees by ensuring that they operate under minimum exposure to lead hazards,” said Kathy Webb, director of OSHA’s Chicago North Aurora Area Office. “Companies with hazardous materials on work sites have an obligation to monitor exposure and train workers.”
The company has about two weeks from the issuance of the OSHA citations to contest the citations or pay its fines.
Source: OSHA, “US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites COM2 Computers and Technologies in Carol Stream, Ill., for exposing workers to lead, other hazards,” Region 5 News Release: 12-1921-CHI, Sept. 27, 2012