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Region 4 News Release: 10-614-ATL (292)
May 18, 2010
Contact: Michael D'Aquino        Michael Wald
Email: D'
Phone: 404-562-2076     404-562-2078

US Department of Labor's OSHA proposes nearly $136,000 in penalties
against Sewon America Inc. for willful and serious safety violations

ATLANTA - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Sewon America Inc. in LaGrange, Ga., for a variety of safety violations after receiving a complaint. OSHA initiated a comprehensive inspection of the company's facility in March. Penalties total $135,900.

Sewon America Inc. has been cited with two willful violations and proposed penalties of $99,000 for failing to provide workers with appropriate hand protection and to protect workers from arc welding flash burns. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employees' safety and health.

The company also has been cited for 12 serious safety violations and proposed penalties of $36,900 for failing to train or evaluate all workers operating industrial trucks, failing to guard against confined sparks during wielding operations, failing to provide lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources, failing to provide proper machine guarding on various machines and various electrical deficiencies. A serious citation is issued 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 facility also has been cited with one other-than-serious violation and no proposed penalty. The violation concerns electrical outlets missing covers and exposing employees to shocks. 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.

"There is no reason to leave employees unprotected," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Office. "Management is aware of the deficiencies in their safety and health program and needs to take action."

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta-West Office, 2400 Herodian Way, Suite 250; Smyrna, Ga.; telephone 770-984-8700.

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 assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit


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