US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Alabama manufacturer with willful,
serious safety and health violations following two injuries
MOUNT MEIGS, Ala. – Ozark Materials LLC, a dry powder paint manufacturer, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 10 safety and health violations, including one willful, after two workers were injured within a month of each other at its facility in Mount Meigs. OSHA's inspection, initiated in December 2012, was based on a complaint that one worker sustained a broken arm and the other incurred a laceration as a result of unguarded equipment.
The willful violation involves failing to provide machine guarding for the conveyor rollers on the mixer hoppers. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Eight serious safety and health violations involve failing to provide standard railings on stairs, provide a lockout/tagout program, provide workers with a hazard communication program and limit the compressed air line pressures when used for cleaning. Additional violations include exposure to unguarded sprocket wheels and portable grinders and overexposure to dust particles and electrical deficiencies. 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.
One other-than-serious violation has also been cited for not maintaining OSHA's 300 log for occupational injuries and illnesses. 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.
"These injuries could have been prevented if the employer implemented the recommendations of a safety consultant to provide machine guarding for the conveyor rollers on the mixer hoppers," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "The employer needs to take immediate action to eliminate all hazards from the workplace."
Proposed penalties total $41,600. The dry powder paint manufacturer 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 Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.
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.