US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Newnan, Ga., manufacturer
for 20 safety and health violations, proposes more than $55,000 in penalties
NEWNAN, Ga. – NuTech Powder Coaters LLC has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration with 20 violations for exposing workers to a variety of safety and health hazards, including combustible dust accumulations, at the company's Newnan facility. Proposed penalties total $55,200.
After receiving a referral that alleged safety hazards, OSHA began an inspection in August. Eighteen serious violations found involve failing to ensure that employees used eye, face and hand protection while working with cleaners and products containing phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate and carbon black; not training workers in the use of proper personal protective equipment; not providing an eyewash/shower unit for workers exposed to corrosive materials; failing to develop and implement a confined space program; not posting permit-required confined space signage on equipment such as dryers, ovens and wash tanks where employees could be exposed to oxygen-deficient atmospheres; allowing powder coating material to accumulate on the floor and equipment due to poor housekeeping; and exposing workers to fall, electrical and other combustible dust hazards. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Two other-than-serious violations involve failing to develop and implement a written respiratory protection program for employees required to wear half- and full-face respirators while performing powder coating operations. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
"Fire and explosion dangers associated with combustible dust do not exist solely at large establishments. Companies of all sizes must take their responsibilities seriously when it comes to workers' safety and health, and implement controls that ensure all employees are protected from hazards," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office.
NuTech Powder Coaters performs powder coating of metals for products such as brackets and shelves for the grocery store industry. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Atlanta-West office at 678-903-7301.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha,gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.