Sept. 20, 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 penalties of $50,200 against Major Wood Products LLC, a manufacturer of wood pallets.
The violations were discovered during an inspection of the company's Carrollton, Ga., facility in May as part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which targets the nation's most hazardous workplaces for inspection based on their histories of having high numbers of injuries and illnesses.
"Employers must focus on workplace safety and not ignore dangerous situations," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office.
The company was cited with 13 serious safety and health violations carrying a total of $32,200 in penalties. These include employees using machines lacking safety guards, exposing employees to excessive noise without providing regular audiograms, exposing employees to electrical hazards from ungrounded equipment, and inappropriate use of extension cords.
Three repeat violations with $18,000 in penalties were proposed for operating with unguarded floor openings that could allow employees to fall into production equipment, not following proper lockout procedures to prevent employees from being caught in moving equipment, and not providing employees with adequate training in recognizing hazardous energy sources. OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer previously has been cited for a substantially similar violation and that citation and its penalty have become final.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office, 2400 Herodian Way, Suite 250, Smyrna, Ga.; telephone (770) 984-8700.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 38,000 inspections last year and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last seven years. 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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