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Weeks before fire, federal investigators from OSHA visited Rockton Chemtool plant

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ROCKTON (WREX) — An investigation is underway into what caused the fire at the Chemtool Plant in Rockton on Monday. Weeks ago, federal investigators visited the plant due to a complaint, an investigation that is also still underway.

Federal records show investigators from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) visited the plant on May 20 due to a complaint, though little is known about what the complaint was or what investigators found. One complaint involves safety and another involves health, according to federal records. It is also unclear if the visit from federal investigators is tied to the fire that started Monday.

13 WREX reached out to the U.S. Department of Labor for more information about what the complaint was about, and what investigators found, but we were told that information may not be available for up to six months.

“The OSHA health investigation at the Chemtool Incorporated Plant in Rockton, Illinois that was opened on May 20, is still ongoing,” said Scott Allen, Regional Director for Public Affairs and Media Relations with the Department of Labor. “No further information will be available until OSHA has completed their investigation, which by law, they have 6 months to complete.”

The OSHA website shows the May 20 complaint was the only one where investigators were called to the plant in the last ten years.

Records show OSHA did visit the plant in 2012 and 2013 for referrals. The plant was fined almost $5,000 for a violation in 2013, the 2012 visit shows no action was taken by OSHA.

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