On May 3, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a press release stating it cited a Georgia-based company, metal fabricator Southern Perfection Fabrication Holdings Inc., for alleged safety violations documented during a November 2011 investigation. The company was also hit with $54,600 in proposed penalties. Many of the purported illegalities stemmed from exposing workers to combustible residues and flammable liquids.
Serious infractions involved the facility management's failure to train employees on the correct use of fire extinguishers, routinely inspect these portable devices and collect air samples in the powder coating space where unusually high levels of airborne particles were greater than the acceptable exposure limit. Furthermore, no one evaluated the need for personal protective clothing and there were no hearing conservation or respiratory protection programs in place. Additionally, management neglected to instruct workers on how to wear safety glasses, mesh face shields and protective gloves when engaged in powder coating procedures.
"Companies must not wait for a catastrophic event or an OSHA inspection before they act to protect their workers from serious injuries and illnesses," stated William Fulcher, the OSHA's Atlanta-East area director.
Like all companies who are fined by the federal agency, Southern Perfection has just over two weeks to decide whether it will pay the fine, request an informal meeting with OSHA officials or go through the appeals process. As of May 8, the Georgia business has not revealed which course of action it will take.
This is not the first time that Southern Perfection has been slapped with monetary penalties. Last year, OSHA noted violations, and the owner of the plant Gordon Hale revealed that the those infractions had been take care of.
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