US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Adel, Ga.-based Aluminum Finishing
with safety violations, proposes nearly $126,000 in fines
ADEL, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Aluminum Finishing LLC in Adel 18 safety citations for a variety of hazards, including a lack of fall protection and dangers from the corroded components of the facility's structural integrity. Proposed penalties total $125,818. OSHA opened an inspection in October 2010 as a follow-up to an April 2010 inspection and a complaint alleging the hazards.
Aluminum Finishing was issued one willful citation with a penalty of $53,900 for exposing employees to fall hazards while walking on top of a steel beam without proper fall protection. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
The company was issued six repeat citations with $43,120 in penalties for failing to have employees use fall protection while working above dip tanks, ensure emergency lighting is operational, guard live electrical equipment, cover open troughs to prevent tripping and provide sanitary conditions for workers. 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 other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for similar violations in October 2008 and April 2010.
Eight serious citations with $28,798 in penalties were issued for allowing employees to work near a dip tank without the proper eye or face protection; exposing workers to shock, electrocution and burn injuries; not properly adjusting the work rest on the floor grinder; and having an emergency eye wash unit with inadequate water pressure. The inspection also revealed that workers were exposed to struck-by hazards from corroded ceiling objects, including sprinkler system pipes, metal wall sheathing and light fixtures. 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 company received three other-than-serious citations with no proposed penalties for failing to establish or implement a written respiratory protection program, anchor the floor grinder to the floor and mount a portable fire extinguisher. 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.
"This company has disregarded the safety of its employees and repeatedly allowed them to be exposed to struck-by hazards from structural failure, electrocution hazards and falls," said Robert Vazzi, OSHA's area director in Savannah. "Immediate action needs to be taken to protect employees from these workplace hazards."
Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.
The company, which anodizes aluminum products, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Savannah Area Office, located at 450 Mall Blvd., Suite J, Savannah, Ga. 31406; telephone 912-652-4393. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.