Our Atlanta workplace accident lawyers read news about Dupont Yard, Inc, a forest products manufacturer in Georgia, being cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for unsafe working conditions at a facility in Homerville.
Dupont Yard manufactures posts for agricultural projects and highway construction. It also produces timber and wood chips. And this is not the first time Dupont has been cited for worker safety violations – the company has been cited for 39 violations in four previous inspections. The latest inspection found more violations.
Three of the new violations were classed as “wilful.” A “wilful” violation is a violation committed with intentional, knowing, or voluntary disregard for the requirements of the law, or with plain indifference to the health and safety of the workers. Of these, workers were exposed to hazards from Dupont’s failure to implement basic safety procedures to prevent machines from starting or moving during maintenance. This can cause amputation of limbs or even death. OSHA also found that there were caught-in and crushing hazards from unguarded rotating chains and sprocket wheels. OSHA found electrical hazards, as well. In all, these violations carry a penalty of $171,600. In addition, workers were also found to have been exposed to 17 “serious” health and safety violations, many relating to the failure to implement a lockout/ tagout program properly. This includes not providing workers with training and locks for equipment prior to maintenance. Also, accumulated wood dust greater than 1/8 of an inch was found. “Serious” violations are those where the employer knew or should have known that there was a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard. These violations have penalties totaling $77,770.
Dupont is also responsible for additional penalties for two repeat violations from inspections in March 2008 and January 2011. Repeat violations occur when an employer was previously cited for the same or similar violation at any facility in federal enforcement states within the past five years. Dupont lacked proper housekeeping and also failed to close electrical panels. These penalties total $30,030.
All totalled, Dupont Yard owes $279,400 for these violations. But money is not the end of it. Dupont has also now been put in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Now the company will be subject to follow up inspections which include any of the employer’s facilities or job sites. Dupont had 15 working days from receiving the citations to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the citations before the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.
Atlanta Workplace Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident at work, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. To discuss the specifics of your case and any steps to move forward in legal avenues, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.