Employer Learns The Hard Way That OSHA Does Do Follow-up Visits
OSHA cites Thomson Plastics in Georgia for repeat and serious violations, proposes nearly $163,000 in penalties
THOMSON, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Thomson Plastics Inc. for 11 safety and health violations after a February 2012 follow-up inspection of the facility in Thomson revealed some of the same violations as OSHA’s original inspection found in February 2010. Proposed penalties total $162,800.
Three repeat safety and one repeat health violation similar to violations cited in 2010 involve failing to perform a periodic inspection of the lockout/tagout procedures for machines’ energy sources to prevent them from starting up unexpectedly, train employees in lockout/tagout procedures, develop a training program for workers exposed to noise at or above 85 decibels and provide guardrails on all sides of platforms to prevent fall hazards. The citations carry proposed penalties of $137,500. 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.
Additionally, one serious health and four serious safety violations involve failing to protect workers on scissor lifts from fall hazards, provide fixed stairs or a ladder to access the hopper platform, properly store acetylene cylinders, provide annual training on fire extinguishers and hearing conservation, and establish baseline audiograms for workers exposed to noise. The citations carry $25,300 in proposed penalties. 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.
Finally, one safety and one health violation involve deficiencies with electrical cords and the facility’s permit-required confined space program. 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.
“Thomson Plastics previously was cited for some of the same violations found during this recent inspection and is aware of what needs to be done to protect its workers,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office. “Management must eliminate the hazards from the workplace to continue to ensure a safe and healthful environment.”
Thomson Plastics produces industrial, recreational and consumer appliances, and lawn and garden products.