Sept. 29, 2014
Plaid Enterprises in Decatur, Georgia, cited for exposing permanent and
temporary workers to amputation, electrical and other safety hazards
DECATUR, Ga. – Plaid Enterprises Inc. was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for six safety violations that involved amputation, electrical and other safety hazards following an April 2014 inspection at the company's craft paint production facility located on Mellon Court in Decatur. OSHA initiated the inspection in response to a complaint. Proposed penalties total $84,500.
Staffing agency Prologistix provided temporary workers for the Plaid Enterprises' facility, but neither maintained supervision at the company nor was knowledgeable about the facility's hazardous conditions. No citations were proposed for Prologistix.
"This employer clearly knew safety measures were bypassed and allowed its workers to be exposed to hazards that could cause severe injuries and fatalities," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Production demands cannot be an excuse to allow either permanent or temporary workers to be exposed to these types of hazards."
Plaid Enterprises was issued a willful citation for worker exposure to amputation hazards and a risk of being caught-in machinery that had safety locking devices that were bypassed or deliberately disabled. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Three serious citations were issued for failure to develop and implement written instructions for disabling power from equipment to allow workers to perform maintenance and service safely, and for not removing forklifts from service that had nonoperational safety equipment. Additionally, the employer put workers at risk for shock and burn hazards from exposed electrical connections and unguarded wiring. 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. Two additional violations were cited for using space around electrical panels for storage and for exposing workers to unguarded rotating shafts.
In April 2013, OSHA announced an initiative to improve workplace safety and health for temporary workers, who are at increased risk of work-related injury and illness. The initiative includes outreach, training and enforcement to ensure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces. In recent months, OSHA has received and investigated many reports of temporary workers suffering serious or fatal injuries, some in their first days on the job. Following these investigations OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health issued a "Recommended Practices*" publication that focused on ensuring that temporary workers received the same training and protection that existing workers received.
Plaid Enterprises, located in Decatur, manufactures, bottles and packages hobby and craft paints for sale. The company employs approximately 279 workers at this facility. The company 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 & Health Review Commission.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Georgia accounted for 70 of the 4,405 fatal work* injuries reported nationally in 2013. Additional details are available at http://www.bls.gov.
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 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.
Release Number: 14-1749-ATL (259)
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
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