Quality Industries in Hartwell, Ga., cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA
for repeat and serious safety and health violations
HARTWELL, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Quality Industries LLC for three repeat and five serious safety and health violations following a February 2013 inspection at its manufacturing facility in Hartwell. OSHA initiated the inspection as part of the agency's national emphasis program on amputations. Proposed penalties total $44,100.
Three repeat violations, with $30,100 in penalties, involve the employer exposing workers: to fall hazards from an unguarded platform, caught-in hazards at the point of operation on the bender press and to fire/explosive hazards due to fiberglass dust not being cleaned from work areas. A repeat violation is issued 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. Quality Industries was previously cited for these violations in October 2012.
Five serious violations, with $14,000 in penalties, involve the employer failing to post signage to inform workers of the existence and location of confined spaces; provide specific steps to remove lockout/tagout devices; maintain personal protective equipment in a sanitary and reliable condition; ensure that workers required to wear corrective lenses covered them with protective safety glasses; and not developing or implementing a written respiratory protection program for workers required to wear respirators while performing grinding, sanding and cutting operations on materials containing fiberglass. A serious citation is issued 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.
"This employer has had ample opportunity to remove these hazards from its workplace, especially since the same problems were previously cited, yet it chose to continue exposing its employees to them," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Allowing previously cited violations to reoccur indicate important management failures and weaknesses in the company's safety and health program, which ought to identify and remove hazards immediately."
Quality Industries specializes in manufacturing boat seats, coverings for electrical equipment and molds for city transportation services. The company 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.
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 Atlanta-East 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.
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.