Region 4 News Release: 12-1720-ATL (299)
Aug. 23, 2012
Contact: Michael D'Aquino
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Gainesville, Ga.,
recycler for exposing workers to safety and health hazards
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – World Recycling Inc. in Gainesville has been cited with 24 safety and health violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing workers to a variety of hazards. Proposed penalties total $74,400 following an inspection initiated in March due to a complaint OSHA received alleging hazards.
Twenty-three serious violations include failing to create a lockout/tagout program to control the energy sources of equipment during maintenance and repair work, provide an eyewash station for workers exposed to corrosive material, develop and implement a written respiratory protection program, develop and implement a written hazard communication program, and provide the designated exit door with proper signage. Additional violations include exposing workers to welding fumes above the permissible exposure limit; lacking proper equipment guarding on the bench grinder, portable grinder and shearing machine; allowing forklifts to be used despite having damaged tires and inoperable horns or back-up alarms; improperly installing an outlet box; having unused openings in the electrical panel; not covering an electrical panel; and exposing workers to fall, struck-by, crushed-by and caught-in hazards. 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 citations carry $74,400 in penalties.
"This inspection found workers being exposed to a variety of hazards that can cause serious injury and possible death," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "It is the employer's responsibility to eliminate hazards in order to establish a safe and healthy work environment."
One other-than-serious violation has been cited for failing to evaluate forklift operators. 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. The citation does not carry a monetary penalty.
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.
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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.