Department of Labor Logo OSHA Regional News Brief - Region 4

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.



October 4, 2016


Georgia textile, plastic recycler continues to expose workers to serious OSHA
workplace hazards; faces nearly $318K in fines for repeated, serious violations

Employer name: Columbia Recycling Corp.

Inspection site: 2410 S. Dixie Highway
Dalton, Georgia 30720

Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to Columbia Recycling Corp. for five repeated, three serious and one other-than-serious safety and health violations. Acting on a complaint, the agency initiated the inspection on April 26, 2016.

Investigation findings: OSHA issued the repeated citations for the employer's failure to:

  • Administer an effective hearing conservation program.
  • Ensure nameplates were maintained in a legible condition.
  • Protect petroleum gas storage tanks with crash rails or guards.
  • Store and handle liquefied petroleum properly.
  • Outline clear and specific energy control procedures for shutting down and securing machines and equipment.

The serious citations relate to:

  • Improper storage of compressed gas cylinders.
  • Not ensuring an employee successfully completed training to operate a powered industrial truck.
  • Not allowing sufficient access and working space around electrical equipment.

One other violation was cited for failure to report a work-related amputation within the required 24 hours.

Proposed penalties: $317,814

Quote: "The issuance of repeated citations is a clear indication that Columbia Recycling continues to ignore OSHA's safety standards and lacks concern to protect workers at this facility," said Christi Griffin, OSHA's director of the Atlanta-West Office. "Employers need to be proactive and should not wait for an OSHA inspection to assess and correct workplace safety hazards."

The citations can be viewed at:

Based in Dalton, Columbia Recycling employs approximately 460 workers and extrudes textile and plastic waste to make melt-filtered reprocessed pellets to be used in the automotive industry for injection molding. 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 and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, 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-West Area Office at 678-903-7301.

# # #

Media Contact:

Michael D'Aquino, 678-237-0630,

Release Number: 16-1882-ATL (281)

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at 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).