Fortune Painting Co. Fined $159,390 for Exposing Workers to Lead Paint
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued 25 citations to Fortune Painting Co. for repeatedly exposing workers to lead-based paint.
Based in Lincolnwood, Illinois, the company has a well-documented history of OSHA violations going back to 2008. Fortune Painting Co. has repeatedly been cited for violations involving lead paint and respiratory safety, including failure to provide workers with properly fitted respirators or train them in respiratory use and procedures.
In November 2013, OSHA initiated an investigation into the company while they were restoring a home in Wilmette. According to reports, the company directed workers to remove paint with sanders and scrapers before determining if the workers would be exposed to lead paint.
Is Lead Paint Really Dangerous?
Lead is a leading cause of workplace illness, and is easily transported out of work sites on clothes, shoes, and other materials. OSHA found several hazards at the paint company that put workers in danger of transporting lead particles, like dry sweeping debris containing lead-based paint.
The employer also failed to provide dedicated work shoes and disposable coveralls to minimize lead transfer. In addition to the respiratory hazards, OSHA also gave the company a repeat citation for numerous fall hazards, which they failed to rectify after they were cited less than five years ago.
All in all, Fortune Painting Co. was fined $159,390 for their numerous violations. Of the citations they received, 14 were for respiratory safety. Other violations involved fall hazards, failing to implement a lead exposure compliance program and failing to provide evidence of each employee’s ability to use a respirator.
Long-term exposure to lead can create permanent damage to the central nervous, urinary, blood and reproductive systems. If you have suffered illness or injury due to exposure to lead or other dangerous chemicals, give us a call. Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC has a long history helping workers fight for the right to work in a safe and hazard-free environment.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys