US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Waycross, Ga., manufacturer
more than $95,000 for safety and health violations
Carolina Skiff cited for combustible dust and hexavalent chromium exposure
WAYCROSS, Ga. – Carolina Skiff LLC has been cited for 19 safety and health violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The citations, carrying fines of $95,240, were issued after OSHA conducted a follow-up inspection to evaluate the abatement of violations found during a 2008 site-specific targeting program inspection. The program focuses on industries with high injury and illness rates.
OSHA has issued Carolina Skiff six repeat citations with $45,740 in fines. Four violations are safety-related, including using compressed air and unapproved electrical equipment in areas where the dust concentrations are high enough to lead to a fire or deflagration hazard; failing to clean up dust accumulations; and a lack of exit signage resulting in emergency escape hazards. Two violations are health-related, including failing to train welders regarding hexavalent chromium hazards and not implementing engineering controls to reduce high noise levels. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
The agency also has issued Carolina Skiff 10 serious citations with $48,510 in fines. Some of the safety-related violations include exposing employees to fall hazards; improperly storing and transferring flammable liquids used during spray painting operations; using compressed air greater than 30 pounds per square inch for cleaning; and an improperly installed electrical service system resulting in an electrical hazard. Three violations are health-related, including failing to provide a hearing conservation program, exposing workers to airborne styrene that exceeded the permissible exposure limit, and not providing suitable protective clothing and gloves for employees whose skin was exposed to styrene-containing resin. 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.
"Carolina Skiff continues to leave its employees at risk of serious injury or illness by failing to implement the proper safety and health protections," said Robert Vazzi, OSHA's area director in Savannah.
The company also received three other-than-serious health citations with $990 in proposed penalties for not posting the OSHA noise standard in the workplace, failing to ensure respirator face pieces had adequate seals and not conducting additional air samples for hexavalent chromium when stainless steel production increased.
The company, which manufactures fiberglass boats, 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. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Savannah Area Office located at 450 Mall Blvd., Suite J, Savannah, GA 31406; telephone 912-652-4393. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.
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