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Region 4 News Release: 11-1080-ATL (364)
July 26, 2011
Contact: Michael D'Aquino   Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076   404-562-2078
Email: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov   wald.michael@dol.gov

Alabama recycler cited by US Labor Department's OSHA for failure-to-abate,
repeat and serious safety violations; more than $60,000 in fines proposed

LAPINE, Ala. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited First Material Systems Inc. of Lapine for six safety violations following a Jan. 27 inspection, including two violations that had been cited during a July 2010 inspection but had not been corrected. Penalties total $60,390.

The two failure-to-abate violations with proposed penalties of $48,510 include failing to provide employees with a lockout/tagout program to prevent the unexpected startup of grinders and shredders before performing maintenance, and not providing fire extinguisher training for employees. Prior to the January inspection, the company had certified to OSHA that these two violations identified during the July inspection had been corrected. Failure-to-abate violations occur when a previous citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, and the original condition, hazard or practice has been found uncorrected upon re-inspection.

A repeat violation with a $6,600 penalty was cited for failing to provide forklift training for new employees in the time that elapsed since the previous inspection. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Two serious violations with $5,280 in penalties were cited for not enclosing electrical boxes and having a damaged strain relief mechanism for wires entering into the electrical boxes. 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.

One other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty was cited for failing to certify that forklift operators had completed their training. 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 employer has continued to endanger its workers by failing to correct hazardous conditions," said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "Such disregard for workers' safety will not be tolerated."

The plastic recycler 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 Mobile Area Office, 1141 Montlimar Drive, Suite 1006, Mobile, Ala. 36609; telephone 251-441-6131. 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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