HOMERVILLE, GA – OSHA cited Dupont Yard Inc., a lumber and wood post mill, for 22 safety and health violations. Notably, combustible dust accumulation of more than 1/8-inch was listed as a safety and health hazard.
The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), proposed $279,400 in fines against Dupont Yard after an inspection in response to a complaint about hazardous working conditions at the Homerville plant. Proposed penalties total $279,400.
Dupont Yard manufactures posts for agricultural projects and highway construction and produces timber and wood chips. In the past six years, 39 violations have been cited in four previous inspections.
"Since 2007, this employer has known about the dangers of a lack of machine guarding and exposure to electric shock, but repeatedly puts workers at risk of serious injury or death," said Robert Vazzi, OSHA's area director in Savannah.
Violations found at Dupont Yard are categorized by OSHA as "willful" because, it says, they were "committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health."
As a result, says OSHA, it placed Dupont on its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities or job sites.
OSHA said in a release posted at its website that workers were exposed to hazards because Dupont Yard did not "implement basic safety procedures that would prevent equipment from starting up or moving during maintenance, which can cause amputation, other serious injuries or death." Unguarded rotating chains and sprocket wheels, as well as electrical hazards, were also listed in the citation.
Two repeat violations, carrying penalties of $30,030, were noted in inspections in March 2008 and January 2011.
Dupont was also cited for failing to implement a lockout/tag-out program, and accumulated wood dust greater than 1/8 inch was also found on ledges and electrical equipment. The citation can be found here: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/dupontyardinc_931983_02-18-2014.pdf.
Dupont Yard, cited February 18, 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 & Health Review Commission.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.