The U.S. Department of Labor cited a South Georgia pillow manufacturer following an inspection that found three workers had sustained amputation injuries amid repeat workplace safety violations.
An inspection by OSHA in November 2021 found Place Vendome Holding Co. in Swainsboro exposed workers to some of the same hazards the agency found during an inspection one year prior, according to the release. OSHA has proposed $190,758 in penalties against the company, which operates as R&F Marketing.
“This ongoing disregard for the safety of their employees is unacceptable, and we will continue to hold them accountable until they follow all necessary federal requirements and take steps to protect workers at this facility,” Jose Gonzalez, OSHA Acting Area Office Director in Savannah, said in the release.
After the November 2021 inspection, OSHA cited the company with seven repeated serious violations, including violations for obstructing exit routes, failing to post well-lit signs identifying exit routes and stacking materials in unstable or unsecured tiers. The agency also cited the company for failing to mount or keep fire extinguishers accessible and to train workers who were designated to use fire extinguishers, according to the release.
The office issued new, serious violations for locking an emergency exit door from the outside, failing to have emergency action plans in place, failing to establish and use equipment-specific procedures to control hazardous energy and train workers on the procedures, according to the release.
The new violations included those for exposing workers to amputation. In December 2020, one worker sustained an unspecified amputation injury in which OSHA found no lockout or tagout procedures to protect workers, according to the release.
In February 2021, a machine operator had nine fingers crushed and one amputated during an incident, and OSHA found the machine’s energy control locks had been removed. One month later, a maintenance manager was loading a pallet jack onto a truck when their finger was caught between the wheels of the jack and was amputated, according to the release. In April 2022, another maintenance manager was attempting to clean fibers from a motor when they sustained a lacerated hand.