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Environmental Cleanup Company Accused Of Endangering Employees

Occupational Health & Safety Administration

(Credit: AP)

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MOKENA, Ill. (CBS) — A Will County company that specializes in environmental cleanup is accused of endangering its employees.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Future Environmental Inc., which is headquartered at 19701 S. 97th Ave. in Mokena, is one of the largest oil collection companies in the Midwest.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Now, the company faces fines of nearly $123,000 after being cited by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for one willful health and nine serious safety violations, a news release said.

OSHA inspectors found that workers were exposed to respiratory and confined space hazards while cleaning waste tanks used to store petroleum hydrocarbons at a job site in Channahon, the release said.

Future Environmental’s director of safety, Stella Tuczak, said the company is “absolutely” challenging OSHA’s citation. She declined further comment, saying the matter is in litigation.

One willful health violation cited, which carries $69,300 in fines, was for failure to ventilate to eliminate or control respiratory hazards, and failing to provide continuous atmospheric monitoring of permit-required confined spaces during entry, the release said.

A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The company is also accused of failing to provide protective gear and train employees properly, for a total of $53,460 in fines, the release said.

The company has 15 business days after being cited to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The Joliet Herald-News contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.