An Indiana manufacturer faces $195,034 in penalties following an OSHA inspection at its Lavonia, Ga. site. OSHA cited the company for exposing workers to amputation, respiratory health hazards, and other safety-related issues.
Investigators found that the metal crate manufacturer exposed workers to hazardous paint fumes, failed to separate propylene and oxygen cylinders, and neglected to label hazardous chemicals. The company also did not provide eye and face protection.
Furthermore, workers were not trained on lockout/tagout and were required to apply their own locks when performing die changes.
Inhalation of toxic fumes, such as those found in paint or propylene, can lead to a range of adverse health effects. Without proper protective, workers can suffer from headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, seizures and asphyxia.
“Effectively implementing comprehensive safety and health programs that include steps for identifying and eliminating hazards protects workers, and prevents injuries and illnesses,” said William Fulcher, OSHA area director in Atlanta-East.
OSHA conducted the inspection as part of the National Emphasis Program on Amputations and the Regional Emphasis Program for Powered Industrial Trucks.
The manufacturer has 15 days from receipt of the citations to respond to OSHA, either through compliance, an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Prioritize Respiratory Health
OSHA’s respiratory health standard requires employers to establish and maintain an effective protection program when workplace hazards are present. In order to choose the correct respiratory protection, follow these steps:
- Determine the hazard and its extent
- Consider user factors that affect respirator performance and reliability
- Select an appropriate NIOSH-certified respirator
Doing so will help you identify proper respirators, train your team, and conduct the proper respirator fit testing. All of which are required, and worthwhile when it comes down to your bottom line and employee health. Avoid large fines and shutdowns by taking charge of your workplace health and safety.
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