Re-inspection of Moultrie, Ga., chrome products preparer by US Department
of Labor's OSHA leads to more than $110,000 in proposed penalties
MOULTRIE, Ga. – A re-inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration of Milac Manufacturing Inc., a Moultrie chrome products preparer, has resulted in citations for eight safety violations with total proposed penalties of $110,220. OSHA opened its inspection as a follow-up to one conducted in 2010 after the company failed to confirm that previously cited violations had been corrected.
"By law, employers are required to provide employees with a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm," said Robert Vazzi, director of OSHA's Savannah Area Office. "OSHA will not let management evade its responsibilities under the law."
As a result of the re-inspection, Milac Manufacturing was cited for two willful violations with $92,400 in penalties. The first involves failing to cover a gap in the concrete floor above a tank that contained wastewater and chromic and sulfuric acid solutions. Workers were exposed to trip and slip hazards, and also to potential burns from the substances in the tank. The second involves exposing workers to amputation hazards by failing to attach machine guards on two polishing machines. Management had been warned of both hazards during the 2010 inspection. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
One repeat violation with a $3,960 fine was cited for allowing workers who refill a propane tank to perform their duties without wearing rubber gloves to prevent exposure to hazardous chemicals. A repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited previously 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 was cited for this same violation during the 2010 inspection.
Five serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $13,860 involve not requiring employees to wear face protection while refilling a forklift's propane tank, not installing safeguards on machinery to prevent amputation hazards, not having a fire extinguisher located at or near a 500-gallon liquid propane gas storage tank and for storing two oxygen cylinders in the same area as a propane tank. 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.
The citations from the 2011 inspection can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/MilacManufacturingInc_314093386_1025_11.pdf.*
Information concerning OSHA's 2010 Milac Manufacturing inspection can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=314089335. For the inspection history of other establishments, visit OSHA's statistics and data Web page at http://www.osha.gov/oshstats/index.html.
Milac Manufacturing performs plating, grinding, finishing, repair and manufacturing services on hard chrome to prevent wear and corrosion on parts used in commercial applications. 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.
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 Savannah office at 912-652-4393.
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.