NW Side company facing $171K in fines for safety violations

SHARE NW Side company facing $171K in fines for safety violations

A Chicago company that makes industrial dryers faces $171,000 in fines for safety violations at its Northwest Side facility, according to federal workplace safety officials.

Investigators visited Chicago Dryer Co. at 2200 N. Pulaski in October 2014 and found damaged crane slings being used to carry 3,000-pound cylinders, according to a statement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

It is a hazard that can expose workers to being struck, OSHA said. Officials also responded to an employee complaint and found press brakes, a piece of machinery, did not have proper guards.

“When a press brake lacks safety features, one slip and a worker can lose a hand,” said Angeline Loftus, director of OSHA’s Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines.

Authorities also found open stairs lacking railings, blocked exit routes, locked exit doors, and a lack of training, among other problems.

OSHA issued Chicago Dryer 20 serious safety violations, which mean the employer knew about or should have known about violations that could cause serious injury or death.

The company was also issued a willful violation for the press brakes, meaning it intentionally disregarded the law or was indifferent to employee safety, OSHA said.

Chicago Dryer faces proposed penalties of $171,000, OSHA said.

“OSHA found multiple serious violations in this industrial setting. Chicago Dryer needs to address the use of damaged equipment immediately and lack of training that puts workers at risk for serious and potentially fatal injuries,” Loftus said.

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