OSHA Cites Georgia's Manufacturing Facility For Repeat, Serious Safety Violations


The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Spruill Products Inc. for 26 safety and health violations at the company's Atlanta manufacturing facility. OSHA opened an inspection in January under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces with higher-than-average rates of injuries and illnesses. Proposed penalties total $86,200.

Five repeat violations involve failing to ensure that employees wear eye and face protection; create and implement specific "lockout/tagout" procedures for the energy sources of equipment before performing service and maintenance activities; provide training on lockout/tagout procedures to ensure that they are understood and can be safely applied by employees; and provide equipment guarding on band saws, presses and press brakes. Additionally, the company allowed the floor in the paint area to be covered with a slippery powder coating and liquid. The citations carry $38,680 in penalties. 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. Similar violations were cited in August 2008.

Sixteen safety and health violations involve failing to administer an effective hearing conservation program, provide medical evaluations for workers required to wear tight-fitting respirators, ensure that employees use appropriate hand protection while handling powder paints and phosphoric acid, provide an emergency eye wash station, properly store oxygen and acetylene cylinders, and provide training on chemical hazards in the workplace. Additional violations involve improperly using relocatable power taps to power industrial equipment, exposing workers to trip and fall hazards, and failing to adequately guard machinery. The citations carry penalties of $47,520. 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.

Five other-than-serious violations include failing to create a fire extinguisher training program, require proper training on the operation of powered industrial trucks, create and implement a program to ensure that all mechanical power presses are kept in a safe operating condition and label electrical disconnects to identify what they control. 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. The citations do not carry monetary penalties.

"Repeat violations indicate this employer has failed to ensure that workplace hazards previously brought to management's attention stayed corrected," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Employers are responsible for ensuring that employees have a safe and healthful work environment."

Spruill Products Inc., which specializes in the design and manufacture of storage racking systems, has 15 business days from receipt of its 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 Atlanta-East office at 770-493-6644.

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