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Region 4 News Release: 08-1608-ATL
Nov. 14, 2008
Contact: Michael Wald
Combustible dust, electrical and health hazards cited during inspection
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $166,950 in penalties against M&B Metal Products Co. and its subcontractor, Oak Mountain Construction Co. An OSHA inspection conducted after a roof collapse at the M&B Metal Products manufacturing plant in Leeds, Ala., revealed 46 alleged safety and health violations.
M&B Metal Products Co. is being assessed one willful violation with a $44,000 fine for allowing explosive paper dust to accumulate on machinery and the shop floor. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. The company is being fined $117,950 for 42 serious violations related to employees' exposure to struck-by, fall, electrical and noise hazards. In addition, it is being cited for one other-than-serious violation.
Oak Mountain Construction Co. received two serious safety violations with $5,000 in penalties for exposing employees to fall hazards and not conducting jobsite inspections to identify fall and roof collapse hazards. Oak Mountain was performing repairs on the roof support system when it collapsed in May.
"Management disregarded employees' safety and health by requiring them to work in a structurally deficient building and knowingly exposing them to dangerous accumulations of explosive dust," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham.
The companies have 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Birmingham Area Office, 950 22nd St. N., Suite 1050; telephone 205-731-1534.
OSHA has improved workplace safety and health over the past 38 years. This success is reflected in the latest data (2007) showing the lowest national injury and illness incidence rate that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever recorded. OSHA continues to work diligently to focus its resources where they will have the most impact in assuring that every working man and woman returns home safely every day.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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