Northstar Metal Products faces $51,480 in fines for 11 safety and health violations following an April 1 dust collector explosion and ensuing fire at the Glendale Heights, IL, sheet metal production facility, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials.
Two workers suffered injuries, one of whom suffered face, arm and hand burns.
“Manufacturing companies using materials that cause combustible dust particles-hazards that are unique to their industry-must take precautions to avoid potential explosions and injuries,” said Kathy Webb, OSHA’s area director in North Aurora. “Employers must be aware of hazards at their work sites and take preventive measures.”
One repeat violation was for failing to control hazardous energy. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously received citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company faced a similar violation in 2011 at the same facility.
Among the 10 serious violations, one involved OSHA’s general duty clause and failing to control hazards from aluminum dust. The other violations include a lack of machine guarding, respiratory protection, fall protection and hazard communication programs; inadequate or missing signage; improperly maintained fire extinguishers; lack of a confined space program and violations of safe electrical work practices. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known exists.
The company previously faced citations for 11 violations during seven OSHA inspections.