OSHA Region 4 News Release: Feb. 13, 2012:
US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites Beasley Forest Products in Georgia for combustible dust and other hazards; $78,000 proposed in penalties
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Beasley Forest Products Inc. for 21 safety and health violations at its Sandersville hardwood sawmill production facility. OSHA opened an inspection in October after receiving a complaint. Proposed penalties total $78,000.
Twelve serious safety violations involve failing to develop specific lockout/tagout procedures for the energy sources of equipment, properly use compressed air for cleaning, install guard rails on walkways to prevent workers from falling 5–18 feet, provide standard handrails on stairways, provide signage prohibiting unauthorized foot or vehicle traffic where logs were being loaded and unloaded, provide machine guards, repair a damaged ladder, allow access to the circuit breaker box, and install covers on electrical boxes for the sorter control cab and the sorter system.
Four serious health violations include failing to establish and implement a hazard communication program for workers exposed to combustible dust, prevent the accumulation of combustible dust, implement a hearing conservation program, and properly store oxygen and acetylene cylinders. 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.
Five other-than-serious safety violations with no monetary penalties include failing to certify employees who operate powered industrial trucks, mark exit doors, keep electrical wiring from being exposed, properly splice the electrical source for the sorter system and provide strain relief for electrical cords. 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.
“This inspection has identified a range of hazards that include the accumulation of combustible dust, a lack of machine guarding and fall hazards,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office. “Employers cannot wait for an OSHA inspection to identify the hazards that expose their employees to the possibility of serious injuries.”
Hazlehurst-based Beasley Forest Products has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Atlanta-East office at 770-493-6644.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.