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“The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Illinois Gun Works Ltd. (above left) for 28 alleged health violations following a Jan. 21 inspection referred by the Illinois Department of Public Health that found two gun range operators were exposed to airborne lead levels up to 12 times the permissible level.” Illinois, eh? That would be in the last state in these here United wherein the government has denied American citizens their constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon. Elmwood Park is 13 miles from the center of the Windy City, whose opposition to gun rights has stymied the state’s gun rights advocates. Of course, one has nothing to do with the other. And Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has no pull with the  Illinois Department of Public Health or OSHA. Setting aside my tin foil hat, make the jump for the list of offenses via . .

OSHA cited Illinois Gun Works for 27 serious violations (“substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known”). Thirteen of the violations were lead-related, including failure to:

  • implement engineering and work practice controls to reduce exposure,
  • collect full shift personal samples for monitoring, measure effectiveness of the ventilation system to control exposure,
  • provide clean protective clothing,
  • dispose of or replace protective clothing, provide clean changing rooms or separate storage facilities for protective work clothing to prevent cross-contamination with street clothes,
  • require workers exposed to lead to shower at the end of a shift or to ensure workers washed hands and faces prior to consuming food during breaks, and
  • implement a medical surveillance program for all employees who were exposed to lead at or above the action levels, including biological monitoring such as blood sampling.

The remaining serious violations include . . .

failing to implement a hazard communication program, train workers on hazardous chemicals present in the work environment, label chemical bottles with contents and a hazard warning, administer an effective hearing conservation program, train in the use of personal protective equipment and implement a respirator protection program that includes, fit testing and training

Fair enough? IGW has 15 days to get the lead out and pay the $111k fines. Meanwhile, it looks like opening and/or running a range in the fifth most populous U.S. state just got a lot more expensive.

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  1. IGW is in Elmwood Park, IL, a suburb on Chicago’s western boundary (not Elmwood, IL)….I have used the range at IGW. Very friendly place to shoot, run by nice folks. The range could use some updating, but the prices are right and they rent a variety of handguns.

      • I used to live in Elmwood. Whenever I’d tell someone where I was from, they’d say, “Oh, Elmwood Park, I know where that is.” I’d have to quickly assure them I was not from Chicago. For awhile if you typed Elmwood IL into Google Maps it would send you to Elmwood Park. You’re far from the first to make that mistake, but it’s usually reversed!

  2. Has anyone ever seen a shower room at a range before? I know I havent at any of them in the Chicagoland area.

    • Jesus chirst, they were fined $111,000! I watched the PBS documentary on cell phone tower climber deaths, those companies got fined at most $5,000 per incident.

  3. I’m a big advocate of changing and washing up after a day at the range. Usually I’m coming back from the range close to dinner time and I don’t want my food, or anyone else’s, tasting like gunpowder and gun oil. But a shower at the range? C’mon OSHA. C’mon.

  4. This type of thing is hardly limited to the firearms industry. It may have been a factor here, but this is just a symptom of a larger problem.

    Sometimes it seems the operating philosophy at OSHA is “Well, when the workers are home on their couches collecting unemployment, they’ll be much safer.”

  5. Normally this is all for The Children. I wonder if all industry and businesses in Chi-town are regulated this way or just the one’s that offend the Leftists.

  6. It’s been my displeasure to have dealt with OSHA and EPA in the past. All I can say is that OSHA, EPA and ATF are three of a kind.

  7. Some of the ranges around Chicago are truly abysmal in their air quality. I shouldn’t be blowing black snot out of my nose for 3 days after I go to the range. These posts always bring out the .gov is after us gun owners, but we should be able to expect a safe shooting environment.

    Article II in Lombard just opened this year and is brand new so it is possible FYI.

  8. Wow. Once they have this idea…I expect we’ll start to see this country wide. I’m guessing the standards for lead exposure are so low (high?) that 99% of existing ranges would fail the same inspection. This could be very, very bad…

  9. Illinois Gun Works is one of my favorite ranges to go to, great prices for the range and reasonable prices on the guns. I bought my first pistol there. The owners are great, helpful and down to earth. $111k fine, wtf??? That is ridiculous. I hope they are able keep their doors open, looks like I will have pay them a visit soon!

  10. Had no idea there were many readers of this blog in the area. I live in ep, and have shot at this range frequently till article II opened up in Lombard. This range has been on the anti-gun peoples radar for some time. If I am not mistaken, jessee jackson (or some other ‘reverend’) was arrested there last year or so for tresspassing. However, they DO have ventilation issues.. After an hour shooting there, you’ll be tasting powder for days.

    • Most indoor ranges seem to be like that. At Maxons I’m blowing out black, but usually only for a hour or two.

  11. Rink’s Gun and Sport in Lockport is really bad too. You can taste the lead in the air when you shoot, and you get covered in a fine mist of lead if you’re there when it’s busy. It’s a shame because at $9 flat rate it’s a great deal.

    • Well maybe the reason range fees are so low are because of the money saved on an effective ventilation system.

  12. The fine is to put them out of business, which I am sure is what will happen.
    I could understand if there were issues, and the range was given time to change things, but didn’t. And after a follow up attempt regarding compliance they still did nothing, ok I get that idea, but showers at a range seem a bit much. I can understand the need to a good air supply system, and filtration. Those are not cheep but not impossible to get done. They have lead free rounds to so you can do that as well. There are lots of things, yes they cost money either to us as the shooter, or the range to implement. But I think in this case it is a we are going to fine you out of business.

    • I agree. It would seem more appropriate and reasonable to give them a time to come up to compliance, which will be costly enough, before fining them a huge amount.

      Where’s all that fine mony go btw?

      • In my experience, the offending employer has gotten ninety days to comply, with a re-inspection on day ninety-one. Not in compliance? More fines. Repeat.

        Back when I was in industrial maintenance/construction, both company I worked for

      • In my experience, the offending employer has gotten ninety days to comply, with a re-inspection on day ninety-one. Not in compliance? More fines. Repeat.

        Back when I was in industrial maintenance/construction, both companies I worked for had a standing rule that OSHA personnel present on site = indefinite coffee break. No tools in hand, off ladders or lifts, lock up trucks and boxes. It was just too likely that if you worked at all, that you would be fined for something.

  13. I also have been using Article II …newer range, cleaner air, etc. And they sell 10 ride tickets, which lowers your range costs… If IGW remodeled, I would go there again…also Article II has cheaper ammo, if you run low on what you bring along. Gat Guns in Elgin is pretty decent too…also pretty nice folks…and a huge selection of guns in their sales section.

  14. The government’s way of going after firearms stores as an effort to take away people’s rights to have a firearm. The Chicago Mayor is a avid supporter of this effort as well as Obama. Don’t worry–if Obama has his way–everyone will have to give up their firearms and gun stores closed. OSHA is corrupt and only following the instructions of its masters.

  15. This whole issue has nothing to do with Health… It never did. Under former Commisar Daley, The intention was to eliminate any Gunshop and Range within 100 Miles of Chicago. (Remember Fox Valley?) Well, now Obama’s lackey Rahm is using the same underhanded tactics to eliminate Illinois Gun Works. If he is successful here, look for this same strategy to be used elsewhere.


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