Air filter manufacturer cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA for repeat,
serious safety violations; more than $64,000 in fines proposed
ATLANTA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited American Air Filter Co. Inc., doing business as AAF International, with two repeat, five serious and one other-than-serious safety violation following an inspection of the company's manufacturing facility on Weaver Way in Atlanta. The inspection, prompted by a complaint, began in August 2013. It resulted in $64,040 in proposed penalties.
"This employer continues to place its workers in jeopardy of serious injury or death by not correcting previously identified hazards," said William Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Management must make safety the first priority and address these hazards immediately."
The repeat violations, with $39,000 in penalties, involve exposing workers to shock and burn hazards from unused openings in electrical boxes and failing to use electrical equipment according to manufacturer guidelines. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in 2009.
The serious safety violations, with $25,040 in penalties, include the employer's failure to provide temporary workers performing cleaning operations with lockout/tagout training; ensure abrasion protection on electrical wires entering the electrical panel for the conveyor system; and to provide strain relief for the strip feeder and speed control boxes. Additionally, workers were exposed to struck-by and caught-in hazards while cleaning the conveyor, and to shock and burn hazards from live wiring. 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.
The other-than-serious violation, with no monetary penalty, involves failing to inspect the specific energy control procedures periodically. 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.
American Air Filter Co. Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Atlanta-East area director, or contest the citations and penalties 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-East Area Office at 404-493-6644.
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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 216-893-7828 or TTY 216-893-7755.