The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $52,500 in penalties against Atlas Roofing Corporation for safety violations at its Hampton, Ga., manufacturing facility. Atlas Roofing employs more than 1,200 workers nationwide.

A serious violation with a $50,000 penalty is being proposed against the company for its second repeat failure to conduct periodic and at least annual inspections of the company's energy control procedure in its roof and felt mills. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Employers are required to establish a program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training and periodic inspections to ensure that before any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment where the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury, the machine or equipment shall be isolated from the energy source and rendered inoperative.

OSHA is proposing one serious violation carrying a $2,500 fine against the company for failing to label electric equipment. In addition, three other-than-serious violations are being issued against the company for failing to meet OSHA recordkeeping requirements. Because these three violations are not likely to result in immediate death or serious physical harm of workers, no monetary penalties are being assessed, but the company is required to make the necessary changes that will bring it into compliance with all OSHA standards.

"This location should not wait until a serious injury or death occurs to any of its more than 100 workers before making needed changes in its safety procedures," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "When a company persists in ignoring its responsibilities, OSHA must step in to protect workers' safety."

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