The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $58,887 in penalties for 44 safety and health violations after inspecting Precision Hose, a metal hose manufacturing plant in Stone Mountain, Ga., that employs about 55 workers.

Responding to a complaint, OSHA found 29 serious safety violations including fall hazards, tripping hazards, electrical hazards and a lack of machine guards. Employees operated forklifts without training and operated an overhead crane that had not been inspected recently with controls in need of repair. Flashback protection was not provided for the welding equipment, and oxygen and acetylene cylinders were stored together in the fabrication area. Proposed penalties total $38,000 for these safety violations.

The agency is proposing $15,887 in penalties for 10 serious health violations including noise hazards and a lack of eyewash or shower stations near where employees were exposed to corrosive materials. The employer lacked a respiratory protection program, and workers used respirators incorrectly and without adequate training. The company had failed to develop an adequate hazard communication program.

The company is being cited with two other-than-serious health violations with $4,000 in proposed penalties and three other-than-serious safety violations with $1,000 in proposed penalties. The employer failed to maintain the required OSHA logs, failed to conduct daily inspections of powered industrial trucks, had not attached a load rating capacity to its storage racks and did not make first aid treatment readily available to workers when needed.

"If Precision Hose had implemented a comprehensive workplace safety and health program by taking advantage of the resources that OSHA makes available to smaller employers, it could have avoided these penalties, and its workers would not have been exposed to these hazards," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office.

Precision Hose has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.