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OSHA News Release
Region 4

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

Oct. 05, 2015

Worker's hand injected with fluid during machine maintenance at
Calhoun, Georgia, rubber mat manufacturer
OSHA cites Apache Mills Inc. for 9 violations; $51K in proposed penalties

CALHOUN, Ga. - A 42-year-old maintenance technician had his left hand injected with fluid from a leaking hydraulic line on a press as he performed maintenance on the machine at Apache Mills Inc. The incident caused the employee's hospitalization and required a surgical shunt to drain fluid and reduce swelling.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the incident and cited the Calhoun-based rubber mat manufacturer on October 1, for nine safety violations; including hazards related to electrical practices and exposed machinery parts. Proposed penalties total $51,000.

"An employee had his hand punctured needlessly at Apache Mills, so its management must ensure an improved culture of safety," said Christi Griffin, director of the OSHA Atlanta-West Area Office. "Exposing employees to hazards puts them at risk of serious physical harm or death."

OSHA issued serious citations for the following violations:

  • Inadequate worker training on safe electrical practices.
  • Exposing workers to electric shock and arc flash.
  • Not providing personal protective equipment to safeguard workers from electric arc or flash burns.
  • Failing to load test lifting devices.
  • Not ensuring proper guarding of machinery, such as rotating shafts, conveyor belts and rollers.
  • Exposing workers to falls from conveyors.

To view current citations, visit:*

Apache Mills Inc. manufactures commercial and domestic floor mats globally. The business employs more than 460 workers at its Calhoun headquarters and manufacturing 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 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.

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


Media Contacts:

Lindsay Williams, 678-237-0630,
Michael D'Aquino, 678-237-0630, d'

Release Number: 15-1852-ATL (327)

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