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Firm Cited By OSHA: Dust Isn't Hazardous To Our Workers

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 3:39am

COFFEEN, Ill. (AP) — A worksite in central Illinois has been cited by the federal government for willfully exposing workers to dangerous levels of hazardous dust without providing protective breathing equipment.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday it has cited U.S. Minerals for violations at its facility in Coffeen.

The company is headquartered in Dyer, Ind. U.S. Minerals Vice President Jason Vukas says the company disagrees with the classification of the dust as hazardous and plans to contest the citations.

OSHA has issued 28 citations with proposed penalties of $396,000. OSHA says inhalation of the type of dust produced at the facility can cause debilitating lung disease.

U.S. Minerals manufactures abrasive blasting and roofing materials from slag produced at coal-fired powerplants.

Coffeen is about 60 miles south of Springfield.

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