BATESVILLE, MS -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing $228,320 in penalties for 34 safety and health violations, including combustible dust,  its inspectors found at Art Horizons Inc.'s 300,000-square-foot facility in Batesville, MS.

In March, OSHA initiated a follow-up inspection to one it conducted at the plant in 2008. As a result of the latest inspection, OSHA issued the company one willful safety and one willful health citation with a penalty of $126,000. The safety violation relates to the company failing to maintain a workplace free from the accumulation of combustible dust around equipment and overhead conduits. The health violation is associated with failing to annually administer hearing tests and not requiring hearing protection for workers exposed to noise over the baseline level.

In addition, OSHA is proposing $12,400 in penalties for two repeat and two serious health violations; and $89,920 for 16 serious safety, 11 repeat safety and one other-than-serious health violation. The health violations relate to noise hazards, flammable liquids and failing to develop, implement or maintain a written hazard communications program. The safety violations are associated with dust collection systems, fall hazards, blocked exit routes, lack of an eyewash station, lack of machine guarding, inadequate emergency lighting and failing to conduct periodic inspections of the energy control procedures.

"These sizable fines stem from this company's failure to correct specific hazards, as well as allowing other hazards to occur repeatedly," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's area director in Jackson, MS.

Read the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's press release.

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