Georgia paint manufacturer exposed workers to amputation, electrical hazards
Plaid Enterprises Inc. was cited by OSHA for six safety violations that involved amputation, electrical and other safety hazards following an April 2014 inspection at the company's craft paint production facility located on Mellon Court in Decatur, Ga. OSHA initiated the inspection in response to a complaint. Proposed penalties total $84,500.
Staffing agency Prologistix provided temporary workers for the Plaid Enterprises' facility, but neither maintained supervision at the company nor was knowledgeable about the facility's hazardous conditions. No citations were proposed for Prologistix.
Production demands no excuse
"This employer clearly knew safety measures were bypassed and allowed its workers to be exposed to hazards that could cause severe injuries and fatalities," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Production demands cannot be an excuse to allow either permanent or temporary workers to be exposed to these types of hazards."
Plaid Enterprises was issued a willful citation for worker exposure to amputation hazards and a risk of being caught-in machinery that had safety locking devices that were bypassed or deliberately disabled.
Unguarded rotating shafts
Three serious citations were issued for failure to develop and implement written instructions for disabling power from equipment to allow workers to perform maintenance and service safely, and for not removing forklifts from service that had nonoperational safety equipment. Additionally, the employer put workers at risk for shock and burn hazards from exposed electrical connections and unguarded wiring. Two additional violations were cited for using space around electrical panels for storage and for exposing workers to unguarded rotating shafts.
Temp worker safety initiative
In April 2013, OSHA announced an initiative to improve workplace safety and health for temporary workers, who are at increased risk of work-related injury and illness. The initiative includes outreach, training and enforcement to ensure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces. In recent months, OSHA has received and investigated many reports of temporary workers suffering serious or fatal injuries, some in their first days on the job. Following these investigations OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health issued a "Recommended Practices*" publication that focused on ensuring that temporary workers received the same training and protection that existing workers received.
Plaid Enterprises, located in Decatur, manufactures, bottles and packages hobby and craft paints for sale. The company employs approximately 279 workers at this facility.