If employers aren’t aware of hazardous conditions in their workplace, they should be, especially if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has already cited the employer for the dangers. In many cases, OSHA will inspect a work environment and give the employer a period of time to make any necessary changes before penalizing the company.
That was the deal for a health club in Libertyville, but Capital Fitness Inc., the parent company of the club, apparently failed to act to protect the safety of employees. The company received a complaint from the labor department on Dec. 21, regarding unsafe chemical usage at XSport Fitness in Libertyville. Capital Fitness was given a 15-day window to respond but apparently failed to do so.Now the company has been threatened with $60,000 in fines.
The safety issues have to do with failing to give employees protective gear while they use acidic and non-acidic cleaners. OSHA indicated that the XSport facility on Fullerton Avenue in Chicago was cited for similar infractions back in May.
Additionally, the Libertyville location did not create a proper communication program regarding hazards; such a program was ordered by OSHA. And the facility also failed to keep data records of the dangerous chemicals being used.
Too many workplace illnesses and injuries are caused by a lack of protective equipment. Employers who require workers to use dangerous cleaning chemicals are in violation of federal guidelines if the proper safety gear and training are not implemented. Employers who repeatedly violate these guidelines put workers at extreme risk of injury and illness, and employees who have suffered a work-related injury need to be aware of their legal options for receiving the compensation they deserve.