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Region 4 News Release: 11-901-ATL (305)
June 20, 2011
Contact: Michael D'Aquino      Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076      404-562-2078
Email: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov      wald.michael@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Englander mattress manufacturer in
Rome, Ga., with serious safety violations; proposes nearly $46,000 in penalties

ROME, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Spears Mattress Co. in Rome for 14 serious safety violations. OSHA began its inspection as part of its Site-Specific Targeting Program, which focuses enforcement efforts on industries that report higher-than-average injury rates. Penalties total $45,850.

The violations include improper storage of oxygen and acetylene compressed gas cylinders, fire extinguishers not mounted or identified, a malfunctioning emergency exit sign, walking and storage areas cluttered with flammables and heavy equipment, missing machine guards on equipment, a drill press that was not secured to prevent movement during operation, improperly adjusted bench grinders and allowing an employee to operate a forklift with nonfunctioning emergency brakes.

Additionally, electrical hazards include a damaged flexible metal conduit, electrical panel boxes with unclosed openings, an electrical box with a missing blank, an electrical conduit that was crushed and pulled apart, an electrical receptacle with a missing cover plate and hazards from improperly installed fluorescent lighting. Last, an employee was observed washing parts in a solvent without using gloves; the company had failed to determine whether employees needed personal protective equipment. 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.

"Inspectors found violations that could easily result in a serious employee injury or death," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office. "OSHA will not allow employers to risk the safety of workers by exposing them to hazardous conditions in the workplace."

Spears Mattress Co. manufactures mattresses at its plant in Rome and is a licensee for Englander brand mattresses.

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-West office, 2400 Herodian Way, Suite 250, Smyrna, Ga., 30080; telephone 770-984-8700. 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.

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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.


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