Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 01-118
Wed., July 11, 2001
Contact: Roberto Sanchez
Phone: (912) 652-4393
OSHA CITES FITZGERALD, GA., COMPANY AND PROPOSES $116,000 IN
PENALTIES FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS
ATLANTA - The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited Delphi Automotive Systems and proposed $116,000 in penalties for safety and health violations found during an abatement verification inspection at the company's Fitzgerald, Ga., facility.
OSHA had initially inspected the plant on March 22, 2000, after complaints about working conditions at the battery manufacturing plant were filed with the agency. The company was cited at that time for failing to properly protect workers from over-exposure to lead.
Today the company was cited for three repeat violations with proposed penalties totaling $85,000 for failing to: provide employees with proper respiratory protection; properly store lead-contaminated clothing, and keep lead dust from accumulating within the plant. Repeat violations occur when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The agency also issued seven serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $31,000 for unguarded floor openings, unguarded robotic machines; improperly maintained respirators and for not having "lockout/tagout" procedures in place that would make machines inoperable during maintenance and repair work. OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
"The company is working with us to correct these hazardous conditions," said Teresa Harrison, OSHA's Savannah area director. "Hopefully, this cooperative spirit will translate into continued proactive measures to ensure worker safety and health."
The company, which employs 20,000 workers company-wide, has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Lawrenceville, Ga.-based All Walls has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspection of the Fitzgerald worksite was conducted by OSHA's Savannah area office located at 450 Mall Blvd., Suite J; telephone: (912) 652-4393.