Plaid Enterprises Inc. is facing $84,500 in fines for six safety violations that involved amputation, electrical and other safety hazards following an April inspection at the company’s craft paint production facility located on Mellon Court in Decatur, GA, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA initiated the inspection in response to a complaint. Plaid Enterprises manufactures bottles and packages hobby and craft paints for sale. The company employs 279 workers at this facility.
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. Prologistix received no citations.
“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 received a willful citation for worker exposure to amputation hazards and a risk of being caught-in machinery that had safety locking devices that ended up bypassed or deliberately disabled. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Three serious citations were 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. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Two additional violations were for using space around electrical panels for storage and for exposing workers to unguarded rotating shafts.