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Region 4 News Release: 10-28-ATL (034)
Jan. 13, 2010
Contact: Michael D'Aquino     Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076     404-562-2078

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Gordon, Ga., maintenance and repair railcar company with serious safety and health violations following fatality

ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Rescar Industries Inc. for serious and other-than-serious safety and health violations following a fatality at its Gordon, Ga., facility.

In July 2009, an employee was switching railcars to different locations for repair and maintenance, and was struck by a series of runaway railcars.

The company was cited with 26 serious safety and health violations. Some of the safety violations include failing to train workers on safe railcar switching procedures, failing to provide de-railer devices to prevent runaway railcars, failing to guard platforms to prevent fall hazards, failing to ensure proper lockout/tagout procedures of energy sources and operating unsafe overhead cranes when an annual inspection identified serious safety conditions.

Some of the health violations the company was cited for include noise exposure hazards, a deficient respiratory program, a deficient confined space program, failing to provide workers required to perform first aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation duties with Hepatitis B vaccines, and exposing workers to the accumulation of combustible residue and dust on the walls and floors. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

Two other-than-serious violations were issued for failing to log when an employee suffered a recordable hearing threshold shift during 2008 and 2009, and not maintaining the eyewash station. 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.

"This company needs to improve its safety and health program to protect employees," said Gei-Thae Breezley, area director for OSHA's Atlanta-East Office.

The proposed OSHA penalties total $82,500. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110; telephone 770-493-6644.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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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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