U.S. Department of Labor Cites Illinois Pallet Manufacturer After Employees Are Sickened from Unsafe Carbon Monoxide Levels

GENOA, IL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Cleary Pallet Sales Inc., a Genoa, Illinois-based pallet manufacturer, after 10 employees required emergency medical treatment for carbon monoxide exposure. The company faces proposed penalties totaling $216,253.

OSHA investigators inspected the facility in January 2018, and found that employees were exposed to carbon monoxide levels nearly 10 times the permissible exposure limit. OSHA has cited Cleary Pallet Sales Inc. for failing to address high carbon monoxide level warnings; allowing employees to operate defective forklifts; failing to ensure adequate machine guarding; and failing to train workers on hazardous communications and forklift safety. A subsequent inspection conducted one month later found further machine safety violations at the facility.

“Employers are required to regularly conduct workplace hazard assessments to determine appropriate measures to protect workers’ safety and health,” said OSHA Aurora Area Office Director Jake Scott. “This employer risked the health of several workers, and disregarded basic safety standards.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov/.