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Article updated: 1/1/2013 7:23 AM

OSHA cites worker safety violations at Libertyville health club

By Bob Susnjara

Federal authorities are threatening penalties totaling $60,000 against a Libertyville health club for purportedly failing to provide personal protective equipment to employees who worked with hazardous chemicals.

Officials announced the proposed action Monday against the parent company of XSport Fitness. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said an inspection in November revealed four repeat safety violations at the XSport facility in Libertyville.

Labor department spokesman Scott Allen said Capital Fitness Inc., the Libertyville facility's parent, had 15 business days to respond after receiving the complaint Dec. 21.

"We're still waiting to hear from the company if they want to do an informal conference or contest it," Allen said.

OSHA accused XSport of repeat violations for failing to provide eye, face and hand protection for workers using liquid and other hazardous chemicals at the Libertyville location. OSHA said similar violations were cited at XSport's Fullerton Avenue facility in Chicago in May.

Allen said acid- and nonacid-based cleaners were used by the Libertyville employees without the proper safeguards. He said no one was injured.

XSport in Libertyville also was found to have failed to develop and implement a written hazard communication program, according to OSHA. Other accusations from the federal agency include a lack of material safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals in use at XSport.

Des Plaines-based OSHA area director Diane Turek was critical of XSport in a statement issued Monday.

"XSport Fitness has a responsibility to know the hazards that exist in their workplace and to provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment," Turek said. "Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health."

Dennis Pierro, a vice president for XSport parent Capital Fitness, didn't return a message seeking comment.

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