THOMASTON, Ga. -- Keadle Lumber Enterprises Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 10 safety and health violations, carrying proposed penalties of $46,970, following an inspection at the manufacturer in Thomaston. OSHA initiated its inspection in April as part of the agency's national emphasis program on amputations and a regional emphasis program on noise hazards.
The serious violations include the employer failing to train workers on the hazards associated with combustible dust; ensure that shavings, dust and wood chips did not accumulate in the work area; implement a monitoring program and audiometer testing where workers were exposed to noise over the permissible exposure limit; ensure the dust collector system was grounded and bonded to prevent an explosion hazard; post danger signage to warn workers of a confined space; immediately clean up a leaking 100-gallon tank of diesel fuel; provide machine guarding on sprockets, chains and gears; ensure forklift operators were wearing seat belts while operating the equipment; and exposing workers to tripping hazards. 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.
'Employers need to be proactive in identifying and removing workplace hazards rather than waiting for OSHA inspectors to address them,' said Christi Griffin, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office. 'Employers are responsible for ensuring that their workers have a safe and healthful work environment.'
Keadle Lumber Enterprises is a manufacturer of Southern Yellow Pine, which supplies the lumber to the construction and housing industry. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal 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-West Area Office at 678-903-7301.
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.