Al. furniture workers exposed to combustible dust
Scholar Craft Products Inc., doing business as Melsur Corp., has been cited by OSHA for 25 safety and health violations following an inspection at its Birmingham furniture manufacturing plant. OSHA initiated an inspection in February as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program on Amputations and its Local Emphasis Program on High Noise Industries. Proposed penalties for serious violations total $94,500.
Nineteen serious safety and health violations involve failing to protect workers from falling onto dangerous equipment, develop and use "lockout/tagout" procedures when performing equipment maintenance and servicing, maintain the dust collection system to prevent potential fires or explosions, install dust collection systems in areas where combustible dust is present, provide an effective hearing conservation program, provide proper personal protective equipment, ensure that employees use seatbelts while operating industrial trucks, provide initial and annual fit tests for respirator users, ensure danger signs are posted on equipment generating combustible dust, properly secure loads to forklifts, reduce the pressure on an air hose to less than 30 pounds per square inch, conduct initial monitoring for formaldehyde exposure, train employees on the hazards associated with formaldehyde, train workers on the hazards associated with combustible dust and provide medical evaluations for respirator users. Additional violations include allowing combustible dust to accumulate on floors, equipment and walls; improperly securing materials in storage; and a lack of machine guarding on belt sanders, grinders and a table saw.
Citations that do not carry monetary penalties have been issued for six other-than-serious safety and health violations, including failing to ensure that forklift operators receive formal training on the safe operation of equipment, ensure that the nameplates of powered industrial trucks are legible, have an effective pest control program and prevent employees from standing under elevated loads.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Birmingham or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.