Workers at Diversified Fabricating, Inc. were exposed to iron oxide fumes at levels higher than the permissible exposure limit and a host of other hazards, earning the Oneonta, Alabama company 23 OSHA citations and $73,000 in proposed penalties.

In addition to dangerous fumes, an OSHA inspection conducted through the agency’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations found the workers, who workers were engaged in fabricating steel drums used in the lumber mill industry, were exposed to fall and amputation hazards

"This inspection identified numerous safety and health hazards, such as the accumulation of combustible materials throughout the facility, a lack of machine guarding, fall hazards and exposure to iron oxide fumes, all of which put workers at risk of severe injury or death," said Ramona Morris, director of OSHA's Birmingham Area Office. "These hazards should have been identified and corrected prior to any OSHA inspection."

The serious violations include: exposing employees to, fire and explosion hazards from accumulated combustible material, and fall hazards from unprotected ladders and platforms. Additionally, the employer was cited for failing to develop procedures to protect workers from moving machine parts during servicing and maintenance; exposing workers to amputation and struck-by hazards by not properly guarding machinery; and allowing fuel and oxygen tanks to be improperly stored, creating an explosion hazard.

Diversified Fabricating manufactures metal parts for the lumber mill industry and employs approximately 29 workers.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Alabama accounted for 84 of the 4,628 fatal work injuries reported nationally in 2012. Additional details are available at