Evanston’s Spartech fined for safety violations

By Bruce Japsen
Posted Sep. 21, 2010 at 9:40 a.m.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration levied $54,500 in fines against an Evanston-based plastic maker, saying it violated 16 “serious safety violations” by exposing employees to unguarded machinery and “electric shock hazards.”

Spartech Plastics, which employs 100 people at its Evanston site, was fined after OSHA began an inspection in March, the agency said. OSHA said it issued “serious citations for failing to provide proper training on lockout and tagout of energy sources, conduct required inspections of forklifts, provide required guardrails on work platforms and stairwells, and implement lockout and tagout procedures for electrical equipment.”

“There is simply no excuse for an employer to disregard the safety and welfare of its workers by not following OSHA regulations to prevent electrocution, falls and amputations,” said OSHA Area Director Diane Turek in Chicago, Ill. “Those who ignore the OSHA standards and safe work practices are inviting tragedy into the workplace.”

OSHA said it issues violations “if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.”

Spartech Plastics could not be reached this morning for comment.

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