August 2, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: (404) 562-2078 (404) 562-2076
ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $68,600 in fines against Southeast Independent Delivery Services for two violations of federal workplace safety standards.
OSHA opened an investigation in February 2007 following the death of a fleet mechanic who was pinned between two trucks while performing maintenance on one of the vehicles at the company's worksite in Suwanee, Ga.
"This was a preventable tragedy. Management had been aware of the need to take action since 2004 and had sufficient time to implement the necessary safety procedures but failed to do so," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of the agency's Atlanta East Area Office.
OSHA issued one willful violation with a proposed penalty of $63,000 for alleged failure to implement and train employees on a lockout/tagout program to be used when performing vehicle maintenance. Lockout/tagout practices and procedures are intended to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.
OSHA also issued one serious violation with a proposed penalty of $5,600 for the company's failure to assure that employees used wheel chocks or applied the parking brake when working on vehicles.
Prior to this incident, the agency had issued safety violation citations to the company following a December 2006 vehicle collision in the yard which seriously injured one employee.
The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The Suwanee worksite was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta East Area Office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga.; telephone (770) 493-6644.
OSHA's mission is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities. In fiscal year 2006, OSHA found nearly 84,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
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 assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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