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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Scovill Fasteners in Clarksville, Ga., for 60 safety and health violations. Penalties total $133,350.
OSHA began its inspection in October 2009 after receiving a complaint concerning a partial amputation of an employee's index finger. Inspectors found a number of deficiencies at the plant including unguarded power presses, failing to develop lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources, lack of training for forklift operators, improper personal protection equipment for employees handling acids and caustics, and failing to provide a written hazard communications plan. The investigation was expanded to all areas of the facility when inspectors observed a high number of safety hazards.
The company is being cited with 40 serious safety violations with $99,050 in proposed penalties. The violations are associated with several instances where mechanical power presses were unguarded, exposing employees to amputation hazards. Other violations are related to fall hazards, damaged storage racks, crane and overhead hoists exposing employees to struck-by hazards, lack of adequate lighting and signage for emergency egress, and several electrical deficiencies.
A separate health inspection revealed 14 serious violations with $34,300 in proposed penalties. They include hazards associated with abrasive blasting, noise overexposure, lack of noise training for employees, failing to address all the required elements in the emergency response plan, failing to provide an appropriate eye wash and shower station, failing to perform a personal protection equipment assessment, as well as deficiencies in the respiratory protection program and the permit required confined space program. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
The facility is also being cited with six other-than-serious violations with no proposed penalty. The violations concern dip tank ventilation deficiencies, improper use of respirators, lack of a written exposure control plan and failing to label containers. 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.
"These types of violations show the kind of disregard this company has for the safety and welfare of its employees and why it needs to make the required improvements to prevent needless injuries," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal meeting with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.