A Gainesville, Georgia company has learned that
Candler Concrete Products Inc. has been cited by The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 19 safety and health violations following an inspection of the company's plant. The inspection was initiated under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high occupational injury and illness rates.
$48,400 of that fine total comes from one particular safety violation. The company failed to require employees to perform maintenance on vehicles and equipment that works within three feet of an open and unguarded pit, which exposed them to the potential of falling in.
The biggest fine Candler Concrete Products incurred was referred to as a 'willful safety violation,' which is committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for legal safety requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Maybe the most disconcerting news is when a company continues to violate workplace safety regulations, even after being cited for them previously. The law defines a repeat violation as one that was cited more than once within a five-year period. Candler Concrete Products was guilty of six repeat safety violations that cost them $45,830 in penalties. They were cited for these same violations after a March 2008 inspection.
Among those violations was the failure to remove equipment that was blocking an exit route, marking signs at fire exit doors, correctly marking a door that could be mistaken for an exit door, closing an unused opening in an electrical panel, and protecting employees from electrical shock hazards.
There were many more violations, some without monetary fines, others with much smaller ones than those mentioned above. A repeat health violation that came with a $500 penalty was when the company failed to use workplace safety labels to identify the contents of a drum containing hazardous chemicals. A similar violation was cited without a monetary penalty because a diesel tank label was not legible.
'An employer's commitment to workers' safety and health must go beyond policies and involve taking real actions that prevent injuries and illnesses,' said William Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. 'Management cannot be complacent about eliminating the workplace hazards that OSHA has found here.'