Concrete Company Faces $120,370 in Fines for Fall, Repeat Hazards

One willful safety violation was cited for requiring employees performing maintenance on vehicles and equipment to work within 3 feet of an open and unguarded pit, exposing them to fall hazards.

OSHA has cited Candler Concrete Products Inc. for 19 safety and health violations following an inspection of the company's Gainesville, Ga., plant, which was initiated under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high occupational injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $120,370.

One willful safety violation with a penalty of $48,400 was cited for requiring employees performing maintenance on vehicles and equipment to work within 3 feet of an open and unguarded pit, exposing them to fall hazards.

Six repeat safety violations with $45,830 in penalties involve failing to remove equipment blocking an exit route, mark signs at fire exit doors, correctly mark a door that could be mistaken for an exit door, provide lockout/tagout training to workers who perform maintenance on machinery and equipment, close an unused opening in an electrical panel, provide outer insulation to an electrical cord attached to a piece of machinery, and protect employees from electrical shock hazards. The company had been cited for these same violations following a March 2008 inspection.

Six serious safety violations with penalties of $19,250 involve failing to keep a clean and orderly worksite, illuminate an exit sign, maintain an operable emergency pull cable, and provide flashback protection for a gas welding torch. Additionally, employees were exposed to fall hazards at two different platforms because the platforms were open-sided or had improper railings.

One other-than-serious safety violation with a $1,000 penalty was issued because the company failed to post an annual summary of its injuries and illnesses for 2010.

One repeat health violation with a $500 penalty was cited for failing to label and identify the contents of a drum containing hazardous chemicals. A similar violation was cited in a 2008 inspection. One serious health violation with a $5,390 penalty was cited for failing to develop and implement a confined space program to protect employees who did welding in the drum of a concrete truck with minimal ventilation.

"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."

Candler Concrete Products is a producer of ready-mix concrete and concrete products.

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