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Region 4 News Release: 13-2037-ATL (274)
Oct. 31, 2013
Contact: Lindsay Williams    Michael D'Aquino
Phone: 404-562-2078    404-562-2076
Email: williams.lindsay.l@dol.gov    d'aquino.michael@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Alabama pallet manufacturer for
repeat, serious safety violations; proposes more than $76,000 in fines

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Southeast Forest Products Inc., doing business as Southeast Pallet & Box Co., has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for seven repeat and three serious safety and health violations following an April inspection at the company's Montgomery facility. The inspection resulted in $76,230 in proposed penalties and was initiated as part of OSHA's local emphasis program on noise reduction.

"This employer has an extensive OSHA inspection history and has had ample opportunity to address the hazards identified in previous inspections, yet chooses to continue to neglect electrical/shock, burn and combustible dust hazards," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "Workers deserve a safe and healthful workplace."

The repeat violations, carrying $63,910 in penalties, include the employer exposing workers to electrical/shock, burn and amputation hazards. Additionally, the employer failed to implement a hearing monitoring plan, conduct audiometric testing and initiate a training program for workers exposed to noise above the permissible exposure limit. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company received citations for similar violations in 2009.

The serious violations, carrying $12,320 in penalties, include exposing workers to combustible dust hazards and failing to ensure industrial powered trucks were in safe operating condition. 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.

Southeast Pallet & Box, a manufacturer and refurbisher of wooden pallets, 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.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.

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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 216-893-7828 or TTY 216-893-7755.


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