Georgia Company Ponders Response to $125K Fine for Chemical, Other Hazards

                               

Lawrenceville, GA (WorkersCompensation.com) - A Lawrenceville wood distributor has been fined by OSHA more than $125,000 for exposing its employees to chemical and struck-by hazards at the company’s distribution facility.

According to the court documents obtained by WorkersCompensation.com OSHA issued the door, wood molding and window distributor Woodgrain Millwork Co three Serious and two Repeat citations. Inspectors visited the facility in April and found that employees had been exposed to a corrosive acid chemical while filling the cells of a battery on a lift. Also, workers were not provided a fully functional eyewash station within their work areas for immediate emergency use.

In another part of the facility, the warehouse workers were exposed to a struck-by hazard from the powered industrial trucks being operated in the aisles and passageways of areas that were not correctly marked as pedestrian paths on the warehouse floor. The third Serious citation was for not removing powered industrial trucks that needed repair from service. In areas where employees were working, there was damaged and exposed live conductor battery wiring.

Some of the trucks were still being used and were not taken out of service, and had seatbelts that were not functioning, broken fork pin lift handles, and damaged hydraulic lines.

The two repeat offenses were for not ensuring that employees who work with dangerous chemicals wore protective hand, face, or eye equipment that would aid in preventing burns, and other severe injuries.

In a press release, OSHA Atlanta-East Area Director William Fulcher, stated, “an employer’s obligation to provide a safe workplace includes supplying workers with personal protective equipment to protect them from identified hazards. Employers are required to correct hazards before they cause injury or illness.”

A spokesperson for the agency told WorkersCompensation.com  that OSHA conducted an inspection in 2014 and issued citations at that time. They also noted that both the 2014 and 2019 inspections were initiated after receiving a complaint.

Woodgrain has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

 


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