Edsal Manufacturing Co. is facing $294,300 in fines for five repeated and 16 serious safety and health violations, including electrical hazards and failing to train workers in forklift operations and machine hazards, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA inspected the company again in September and placed Chicago-based Edsal in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Edsal Manufacturing makes steel storage-systems.

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“When a machine lacks safety features, one slip and a worker can lose a hand,” said Kathy Webb, area director of OSHA’s Calumet City office. “With stakes this high, Edsal Manufacturing must ensure the safety and health of its 1,200 employees. This company has shown, time and time again, it does not take worker safety seriously. That attitude needs to change.”

Responding to a complaint, agency investigators saw workers endangered by machine hazards. While operating mechanical power presses, workers ended up exposed to unguarded foot pedals, point of operation and chains and sprockets. The inspection resulted in five repeated violations.

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Edsal Manufacturing received citations for similar violations at this same facility in 2010 and 2012. The company also failed to store pallets of paint properly; provide training to workers on hazardous chemicals in the workplace; maintain fire extinguishers; inspect cranes periodically for safety issues; and provide welding screens and eye protection. Electrical safety hazards and lack of training also ended up noted. Sixteen serious safety and health violations ended up issued.

OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer previously received citations for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

OSHA also cited KG Payroll & Staffing Services Corp., which provides temporary labor to the plant, for failing to train workers on personnel protective equipment needed for the job and the potential hazards of chemicals used in the facility. The company has a contract with Edsal Manufacturing to provide training for any temporary workers it assigns to the plant. The Berwyn, IL-based company received two serious safety violations with proposed penalties of $11,000.

An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

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