March 23, 2018

Feds: Franklin Park metal company didn't tell workers about asbestos

A Franklin Park metal company has been fined by a federal agency for not telling its workers about the presence of asbestos.

The regional office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited A.M. Castle, 3400 N. Wolf Road, with nine violations on March 24 — five of which are classified as serious.

OSHA spokeswoman Rhonda Burke said the government agency defines “serious” violations as ones where “death or serious harm could exist from a hazard they did or should have known existed.”

The serious violations include:

• Not posting danger signs or warning employees about confined spaces (inside a machine used for cleaning or altering the surface of metal) that could expose employees to asbestos

• Failing to inform employees there might be asbestos in areas where they work

• Training on asbestos for employees not being up to OSHA standards

• Not providing annual asbestos training focusing on recognizing asbestos and how to avoid it.

This is not the first time OSHA has cited A.M. Castle’s facility in Franklin Park. In October 2011, OSHA cited the company for 20 serious violations, Burke said. OSHA proposed $127,600 in fines, which was negotiated down to $63,500.

In March 2012, OSHA again cited Castle Metals on two violations. Those were not providing awareness training for employees who work in areas with asbestos, and not having a copy of the OSHA Asbestos Standard available to employees. OSHA cited A.M. Castle for a total of $8,400, which A.M. Castle paid without negotiating or contesting.

A.M. Castle was fined for those same two violations this year.

This time around, OSHA has proposed $59,720 in fines; A.M. Castle has 50 working days to respond. The company can contest the fines, meet with the area director of OSHA and perhaps negotiate lower fines, or pay the fines. The company will also have to correct the violations

A.M. Castle is headquartered in Oak Brook. The company’s legal department declined to comment.

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Feds: Franklin Park metal company didn't tell workers about asbestos