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OSHA cites firm for safety violations
Proposed fines may total $69K
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Forsyth County News

 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Forsyth County operation for exposing workers to a variety of hazards.

According to an OSHA report released Wednesday, 23 safety and health violations occurred at Olde Atlanta Recycling LLC’s facility in Cumming.

Proposed penalties total $69,200, with $55,800 for 15 serious safety violations, $10,800 for serious health violations and $2,600 for violations deemed in the report as “other than serious.”

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, the report said.

The inspection was reportedly triggered by a complaint in November.

Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office, said in a statement that the inspection identified “several safety and health deficiencies that need to be addressed by Olde Atlanta Recycling in order to protect its workers.”

“It is the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace,” he said.

Officials with Olde Atlanta Recycling could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The firm, which sorts and recycles plastic, metal and paper products at a site on Ivy Street East, has 15 business days to comply.

During that time, it can also request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Com-mission.

According to its Web site, Olde Atlanta Recycling was founded in 2001. The company “presently offers local waste haulers, county entities, nonprofit organizations and private companies a place to dispose of the most common and viable, recyclable materials in a reliable and cost-effective manner that results in increased recovery and resource conservation.”

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

According to the OSHA report, the serious safety violations at Olde Atlanta Recycling involved failing to provide an energy control program for workers who maintain and service equipment to keep machines from accidentally starting up and failing to require workers who operate powered industrial trucks to wear seat belts.

They also involved, among others, failing to: properly use PVC piping to transport compressed air; provide signs to mark exits; formally train powered industrial truck operators; guard a conveyor belt; and correct electrical deficiencies.

Serious health violations included failing to: develop a noise monitoring program and implement a training program for workers exposed to noise.

They also involved failing to: perform a hazard assessment for workers exposed to laceration hazards to determine necessary personal protective equipment; and identify a baler that workers entered to remove jams as a permit-required confined space.