Georgia manufacturer cited for 11 safety violations

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties totaling $41,400 against Columbia Recycling Corporation for 11 serious safety violations at its plant in Dalton, Ga. In January 2007, a fire at this location resulted in the death of one employee and serious injuries to two other employees.

Columbia Recycling employs 288 people to manufacture conveyor belt material from recycled textile remnants.

"We found that the employer was not enforcing safety rules which could save lives," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office.

Inspectors found a number of hazards which contributed to an unsafe working environment, including fall hazards, blocked fire exits, unclean and disorderly passageways, materials blocking the line of sight to emergency exits, materials blocking access to electrical equipment and exposed electrical wiring. No written emergency plan was prepared or available in case of a fire.

Other violations included liquid propane gas tanks which could be struck by vehicles, employees operating forklifts without formal training and no written certification of forklift operators' training.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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