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Manufacturing firm cited by OSHA for noise and toxic hazard violations

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An Illinois manufacturing facility is facing $157,080 in proposed fines from federal regulators after exposing employees to noise and toxic hazards.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Cicero, Illinois-based Electronic Plating Co. Inc. last week after an inspection determined the company failed to follow federal safety and health requirements, the agency said Tuesday in a statement.

OSHA cited the company for one willful violation for failing to implement a continuing, effective hearing conservation program, according to the citations. The agency also issued eight repeat, eight serious and one other-than-serious safety and health citations for electrical safety hazards, inadequate worker training on hazardous chemicals and a lack of medical examinations to monitor employee exposure to chromic acid and cadmium, among other violations, according to the release.

Exposure to metals such as the cadmium used in the plant can harm the heart, nervous and digestive systems, according to OSHA.

“OSHA inspectors found multiple, preventable safety and health hazards in this facility, eight of which Electronic Plating violated in 2011,” Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in Calumet City, Illinois, said in the statement. “Employers cited for repeated violations are failing their employees and their obligation to provide a safe and healthy working environment.”

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.