The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a pallet manufacturer based in Genoa, Illinois, after the company exposed 10 workers to hazardous levels of carbon monoxide.
Cleary Pallet Sales Inc. now faces potential penalties of more than $215,000. Department officials investigated the workplace in January this year. They discovered that workers encountered almost 10 times the legal limit of carbon monoxide. The employees needed emergency medical attention after being exposed to the poisonous gas.
A month later, investigators found additional problems with equipment safety at the workplace during a second inspection. Besides its failure to deal with the unsafe amount of toxic gas, Cleary Pallet Sales Inc. was also cited for not training employees on forklift safety and hazardous communications, allowing workers to use faulty forklifts, and failing to implement proper machine guarding.
OSHA official Jake Scott said that the company put the wellbeing of its employees at risk and ignored basic safety rules. “Employers are required to regularly conduct workplace hazard assessments to determine appropriate measures to protect workers’ safety and health,” he commented.
After receiving the citations, the employer has 15 days in which to comply, ask for an informal meeting with OSHA or dispute the findings with the agency’s review commission.