Department of Labor Logo OSHA News Release - Region 4


March 8, 2024  

US Labor Department cites Atlanta chemical manufacturer for endangering workers; proposes $289K in penalties for 67 violations

Southern Industrial Chemicals exposed workers to chemical, struck-by hazards

ATLANTA – The U.S. Department of Labor has cited an Atlanta chemical manufacturer with a staggering 67 serious violations and a proposed penalty of $289,439 for exposing workers to a series of workplace dangers associated with chemicals and struck-by hazards.

The department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Southern Industrial Chemicals Inc. – operating as SIC Technologies – after conducting a safety and a health inspection. Across both, OSHA found violations for failing to:

  • Provide feasible engineering controls to reduce employee exposures to hexavalent chromium.
  • Establish and implement a respiratory protection program and provide a medical evaluation before workers were fit-tested or required to use respirators.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive hazard communication program for the handling and use of hazardous chemicals.
  • Provide laboratory employees with information and training on hazardous chemicals in the lab.
  • Provide changing rooms for contaminated protective clothing to prevent cross-contamination of employees’ regular clothes.
  • Provide suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body.
  • Use drums and containers that meet appropriate federal regulations for the waste they contained.
  • Ensure chemical drums and pallets were stacked on storage racks in a secure manner.
  • Provide proper training and certification of employees using powered industrial trucks.
  • Develop and implement an energy control program, including written lockout procedures, and training for employees required to perform cleaning and maintenance involving dangerous machinery.
  • Develop and implement a permit-required, confined space program for employees required to enter tanks and vessels.
  • Guard unused portions of a bandsaw to prevent unintended contact with the saw blade.

"Southern Industrial Chemicals failed to make employee safety and health a priority. Chemical exposures can lead to incurable and life-altering conditions, so it's vital that employers take immediate steps to recognize and mitigate life-threatening hazards like those found in this investigation," said OSHA Atlanta-West Area Office Director Jeffery Stawowy. "Employers must evaluate and effectively control respiratory hazards in the workplace and establish a hazard communication program that meets or exceeds federal safety standards to protect workers. Our hazard communication overview provides employers with the knowledge to get this done and make their workplaces safer for all."

Workers in the U.S. suffer more than 190,000 illnesses and approximately 50,000 deaths annually related to chemical exposures. OSHA's website provides an overview of chemical hazards and toxic substances to provide employers and employees with tips to recognize hazards and control exposures.

Southern Industrial Chemicals Inc. is a chemical manufacturer that compounds custom chemical products at its Atlanta facility.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Visit OSHA's website for information on developing a workplace safety and health program. Employers can also contact the agency for information about OSHA's compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards.

Media Contacts:

Eric R. Lucero, 678-237-0630, lucero.eric.r@dol.gov
Erika B. Ruthman, 678-237-0631, ruthman.erika.b@dol.gov

Release Number: 24-331-ATL (71)