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: https://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/ColumbiaRecyclingCorp_1142848_1137767.pdf
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.
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Michael D'Aquino, 678-237-0630, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 16-1882-ATL (281)
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