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OSHA Regional News Brief
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Region 4


Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

 

U.S. Department of Labor | June 1, 2016

 

Prompted by severe workplace injury, OSHA investigation at Georgia nursery
reveals deadly workplace hazards; nearly $47K in fines proposed
Evergreen Nursery cited for 18 serious violations after overturned forklift crushes worker

Employer name: Evergreen Nursery Inc.

Inspection site: 1501 Dials Road, Statham, Georgia 30666

Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to Evergreen Nursery on May 31 for 18 serious safety violations.

Investigation findings: OSHA began an investigation after learning an Evergreen Nursery employee suffered a workplace injury that required hospitalization. On March 18, 2016, a forklift driven by a 36-year-old worker on uneven terrain turned over, crushing the operator's pelvis. The severe injury hospitalized the worker. In its investigation, OSHA inspectors determined the worker was not wearing a seatbelt. The agency has established a Regional Emphasis Program to reduce injuries and fatalities related to powered industrial trucks.

The serious citations relate to the employer:

  • Not ensuring workers operating powered industrial trucks wore seatbelts.
  • Exposing workers to electrical hazards from improperly repaired electrical cords.
  • Not providing protective equipment to workers.
  • Not developing a written hazard communication program for workers handling chemicals.
  • Not providing written energy control procedures to prevent machinery from starting during maintenance and servicing.
  • Exposing workers to unguarded machine parts and equipment.
  • Exposing workers to falls due to missing safety rails.

Proposed penalties: $46,900

Quote: "Evergreen Nursery is exposing workers to numerous serious safety hazards and needs to be more proactive with assessing the workplace for hazards and taking action to correct them," said William Fulcher, OSHA's area director in the Atlanta-East Office. This incident could have been prevented if management had followed OSHA standards."

The citations can be viewed at:
https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/newsroom/newsreleases/OSHA20160996.pdf

Evergreen Nursery is a wholesale nursery that specializes in perennial and ground covers. The company operates a facility near Athens, Georgia and employs approximately 40 workers. The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its 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 amputations, eye loss, 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 770-493-6644.

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.

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Media Contacts:

Michael D'Aquino, 678-237-0630, daquino.michael@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-996-ATL (142)


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