Region 4 News Release: 06-59-ATL (3)
Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Contact: Roberto Sanchez Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (205) 731-1534 (404) 562-2076
OSHA Fines Birmingham Company $91,500 for Serious Safety and Health Hazards
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Sloss Industries for exposing workers to safety and health hazards at its coke oven operations facility in Birmingham. OSHA is proposing penalties totaling $91,500 following an inspection conducted under the agency's site specific targeting program.
"Site specific targeting identifies industries with high injury and illness rates," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's Birmingham area director. "From that listing, establishments are randomly selected for inspection. The goal of the program is to identify and correct hazards that contribute to worker injuries, illnesses and deaths."
OSHA issued 12 serious citations against the company and proposed penalties totaling $74,000 for lack of safety guards on equipment, such as augers, conveyor belts and pulleys; unsafe coal handling which exposed workers to "caught-by" injuries; exposing workers to fire hazards due to electrical equipment deficiencies; and exposing employees to health hazards by failing to conduct respiratory evaluations, sampling and personnel monitoring.
The agency also issued one "repeat" citation, with a proposed penalty of $17,500, for tripping and fall hazards. A "repeat" citation is issued when a company 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 company, a division of Tampa-based Walter Industries, has 15 days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Staff from the Birmingham OSHA office located at 950 22nd St. N., Suite 1050, conducted the inspection; phone: (205) 731-1534.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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