Lyon, LLC, based on Watsekea, Illinois, has recently been slapped with a $76,000 civil penalty from federal regulators for allegedly exposing painters to dangerous levels of dust.
According to the official announcement regarding this enforcement action, regulators at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) started investigating Lyon, a metal fabrication shop, this past September after receiving anonymous complaints about the unsafe working conditions at the facility.
As a result of the investigation, OSHA officials reportedly discovered that at least two workers were exposed to dust levels that exceeded OSHA’s permissible limits by more than six times. The investigation also revealed that Lyon had committed a number of other violations, including failing to:
- Provide essential personal protective gear to painters and other workers
- Train workers on how to use and maintain respirators
- Have a hearing protection program for workers exposed to excessive noise levels
- Properly monitor air speeds and provide exhaust fans within paint booths
- Have, install and/or provide sprinklers and extinguishers to mitigate fire and dust risks
- Safely ground electrical equipment
- Remove paint residue and dust in order to limit workers’ exposure to these potential hazards.
Ultimately, regulators issued Lyon 15 serious violations, for a proposed total penalty of $76,000.
The Next Steps…
At this point, Lyon can either comply with the fine and OSHA’s citations, request a hearing with OSHA officials or formally challenge the citations.
Commenting on this investigation and OSHA’s response, Tom Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria, has remarked that:
Breathing in contaminates can cause long-term damage to the lungs, respiratory system and lead to major health complications…Companies like Lyon must be aware of the hazards associated with metal dust present in its facility and take all actions necessary to control the health risks to employees.
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