Two Illinois Workers Injured in Combustible Dust Explosion

An Illinois metal products company was cited for safety violations after two workers were injured in a combustible dust explosion at a Glendale Heights Facility.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the citations to Northstar Metal Products for 11 violations of health and safety regulations following the April 1 incident. One of the workers injured suffered burns to his face, arm and hand. OSHA proposed fines totaling $51,480.

An OSHA official said that manufacturing companies that engage in processes that produce combustible dust must take special precautions to avoid explosions and injuries.

One repeat citation was for the failure to control hazardous energy. The company had been cited for a similar violation in 2011.

Other violations included failure to control hazards resulting from aluminum dust, lack of fall protection and respiratory protection, lack of machine guarding, improperly maintained fire extinguishers, inadequate signage and violations of practices regarding electrical work. These were all classified as serious violations, meaning that there is a substantial probability that the dangerous condition could cause serious injury or death, and that the employer knew or should have known about the condition.

Northstar Metal Products had previously been cited by OSHA for 11 violations.

The company was given 15 days from the receipt of the citations to comply or contest the findings.

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