Concrete producer in Gainesville, Ga., cited by US Department of Labor's
OSHA for safety and health violations; more than $120,000 in fines proposed
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Candler Concrete Products Inc. for 19 safety and health violations following an inspection of the company's Gainesville plant, which was initiated under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high occupational injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $120,370.
One willful safety violation with a penalty of $48,400 was cited for requiring employees performing maintenance on vehicles and equipment to work within 3 feet of an open and unguarded pit, exposing them to fall hazards. 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.
Six repeat safety violations with $45,830 in penalties involve failing to remove equipment blocking an exit route, mark signs at fire exit doors, correctly mark a door that could be mistaken for an exit door, provide lockout/tagout training to workers who perform maintenance on machinery and equipment, close an unused opening in an electrical panel, provide outer insulation to an electrical cord attached to a piece of machinery and protect employees from electrical shock hazards. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company had been cited for these same violations following a March 2008 inspection.
Six serious safety violations with penalties of $19,250 involve failing to keep a clean and orderly work site, illuminate an exit sign, maintain an operable emergency pull cable and provide flashback protection for a gas welding torch. Additionally, employees were exposed to fall hazards at two different platforms because the platforms were open-sided or had improper railings. 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.
One other-than-serious safety violation with a $1,000 penalty was issued because the company failed to post an annual summary of its injuries and illnesses for 2010. Two other-than serious safety violations with no monetary penalties were cited because the company allowed flexible cords to be used in lieu of permanent wiring and permitted electrical boxes to have openings that resulted in electrical conductors not being protected from abrasion. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
One repeat health violation with a $500 penalty was cited for failing to label and identify the contents of a drum containing hazardous chemicals. A similar violation was cited in a 2008 inspection. One serious health violation with a $5,390 penalty was cited for failing to develop and implement a confined space program to protect employees who did welding in the drum of a concrete truck with minimal ventilation. An other-than-serious health violation with no monetary penalty was cited because the diesel tank label beside the scale house was not legible.
"An employer's commitment to workers' safety and health must go beyond policies and involve taking real actions that prevent injuries and illnesses," said William Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Management cannot be complacent about eliminating the workplace hazards that OSHA has found here."
The citations for Candler Concrete Products, a producer of ready-mix concrete and concrete products, can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CandlerConcreteProducts_314208968_0926_11.pdf* http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CandlerConcreteProducts_314208901_0926_11.PDF*
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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. The site was inspected by OSHA's Atlanta-East office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga. 30084; telephone 770-493-6644. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.