In a news release yesterday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Flex-N-Gate Corp, operating in Urbana as Guardian West, with multiple health and safety violations for failing to properly monitor workers' chemical exposure. Workers were exposed to various chemicals, including hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and nickel, working on electroplating tanks used at the company's facility for manufacturing bumpers.
Of the nine violations, four relate to failing to provide proper medical surveillance for those workers exposed to chromium and chromic acid while doing decorative plating. The other violations include: failing to monitor the time each employee was exposed to chromium, not providing adequate training relating to hazardous chemicals, failing maintain chromium free surfaces and not providing the information needed for proper medical exams. If the chemical exposure workers' experienced resulted in workplace injury or illness the workers may be eligible for workers compensation benefits.
"Employers such as Guardian West are responsible for knowing the hazards that exist in their manufacturing plants and taking the necessary procedures to ensure that workers are monitored for exposure to potentially harmful substances," explained OSHA's Peoria director.
Proposed fines against the company total $57,000 based on the inspection that was conducted this past December.
Flex-N-Gate is headquartered in Urbana and employs over 12,000 people in manufacturing and product development worldwide. The plant in Urbana was previously cited for serious violations in 2010. The company now has 15 business days to respond to the violations. They may comply, request a conference or contest the citations.
Source: OSHA News Release, June 14, 2012.