Federal regulators recently cited an Illinois construction company for safety violations which exposed its plant workers to the risk of suffering serious workplace injuries. Authorities say that History Construction Management LLC, of Odell, allowed its workers to be exposed to airborne lead at levels exceeding 40 times the safe limit. It is unclear whether any workers at the company’s plant will suffer long-term health consequences as a result of their lead exposure.
“Employers such as History Construction Management have a responsibility to ensure that operations are conducted in a way that eliminates or minimizes lead hazards, including exposure,” said Tom Bielema, director of OSHA’s Peoria Area Office. “Training workers to recognize lead hazards and take necessary precautions to prevent exposure is necessary to protect their health.”
History Construction Management specializes in restoring windows for historic buildings. This is not the first time it has been in trouble with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA reports that it cited the company in 2009 for failing to require that its employees use the proper safety equipment. The company was also cited for failing to have a hazard communications program.
The current proposed fines against the company total $59,200. Under federal regulations, the company has the option of paying or appealing its fines.
Source: OSHA, “US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites History Construction Management for exposing workers to lead, other hazards at Odell, Ill., plant,” Region 5 News Release: 12-2094-CH