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Illinois manufacturer cited for heavy metal, chemical exposure

A work injury can come in many forms. Many times, on-the-job injuries are readily apparent, especially those that require immediate hospitalization. But other times, a work injury can be a lot more insidious and even take years to develop. This is perhaps especially true for such cases of long-term exposure to toxic chemicals. Unfortunately for one Illinois company, this is exactly the kind of scenario that workers appear to face in performing their employment duties.

An Illinois automobile bumper manufacturing company, Flex-N-Gate Corporation, has been cited for failing to monitor various toxic materials as workers clean industrial tanks. The toxins that the workers typically encounter in the course of their work include nickel, chromium, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. These chemicals are highly toxic and can cause various serious medical conditions from ongoing exposure.

Not only did the company allegedly fail to monitor the chemical levels, but apparently it also failed to perform medical check-ups on their employees to ensure they were not subject to toxic exposure. Furthermore, it was said the company did not provide their workers advanced training concerning any potential hazards that they might face in the workplace. Because of these infractions, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued the company fines in the cumulative amount of $57,000.

For the employees who work in this manufacturing plant, it is understandable that they might feel upset knowing that they could have been exposed to dangerous levels of materials and their employer could have done something to prevent it. While it was not immediately reported whether these conditions caused a work injury or illness, as information about the facility surfaces, employees may wish to seek medical testing to ensure they have not been harmed by toxic exposure.

For those employees who may discover they have developed a medical condition as a result of the company's failure to observe safety guidelines, workers' compensation benefits may be available to them to pay for necessary medical expenses and compensate for lost income as they recuperate.

Source: Rockford Register Star, "OSHA cites Urbana plant for alleged violations," June 15, 2012

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