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Chicago Heights plant cited by OSHA after explosion

A south suburban manufacturing plant has been fined more than $100,000 for several safety violations after a September explosion left two workers injured.

A gas-powered forklift ignited at Polychem Services Inc. at 374 E. Joe Orr Rd. in Chicago Heights on Sept. 4, 2014, severely burning two temporary workers, according to a statement from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

One of the workers, 34, who had been employed at the facility for about six weeks, was hospitalized for six days. The other, 35, had been at the facility for 11 months and was hospitalized for one day.

After the explosion, OSHA investigators cited the company for six willful, one repeat and four serious safety violations, according to the statement.

The company was previously cited for failing to train workers on required personal protective equipment in November 2010 after a worker suffered second-degree burns.

The proposed penalties for the new violations total $110,000.

“Two employees in their prime work years have suffered severe and painful injuries that keep them from their livelihood because Polychem Services ignored worker safety,” Kathy Webb, OSHA area director in Calumet City said in the statement.