US Labor Department's OSHA cites cleaning products manufacturer
for safety and health violations at Lawrenceville, Ga., plant
Goodwin Ammonia fined more than $128,000
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Goodwin Ammonia Co. for 16 safety and health violations at its manufacturing plant in Lawrenceville. OSHA began its inspection of the plant in October 2010 as part of a site-specific targeting program focused on industries with high occupational injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $128,550.
A willful safety citation, with the maximum penalty of $70,000, was issued for exposing employees to amputation hazards from a lack of machine guarding on production machines. 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.
Goodwin Ammonia was issued 11 serious citations, with penalties of $58,550, for exposing workers to fall, electrical and confined space entry hazards; failing to provide an emergency response plan to potential chemical spills; and allowing employees to improperly use compressed air to clean equipment. 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.
Four other-than-serious citations with no monetary penalties were issued for not installing directional signs in the warehouse; not conducting medical evaluation and training of employees who were voluntarily using full face and half mask respirators; not informing employees of confined space dangers and not re-evaluating employees trained as forklift operators after three years. 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.
"Eliminating safety barriers and failing to develop emergency plans because they are inconvenient or time-consuming is no excuse for endangering employees," said William Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Employees should not have to risk their safety or health for a paycheck."
Goodwin Ammonia manufactures sanitation and cleaning products at its Lawrenceville location and has corporate offices in Garden Grove, Calif. 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. The site was inspected by OSHA's Atlanta-East office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga. 30084; telephone 770-493-6644. 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.