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Columbia Recycling Corp. is facing $317,814 in fines for nine health and safety violations at its Dalton, GA, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Based in Dalton, Columbia Recycling employs 460 workers and extrudes textile and plastic waste to make melt-filtered reprocessed pellets for use in the automotive industry for injection molding.

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OSHA investigators issued citations after an April inspection to Columbia Recycling Corp. for five repeated, three serious and one other-than-serious safety and health violations after receiving a complaint.

OSHA issued the repeated citations for the employer’s failure to:
— Administer an effective hearing conservation program
— Ensure nameplates were maintained in a legible condition
— Protect petroleum gas storage tanks with crash rails or guards
— Store and handle liquefied petroleum properly
— Outline clear and specific energy control procedures for shutting down and securing machines and equipment

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The serious citations relate to:
— Improper storage of compressed gas cylinders
— Not ensuring an employee successfully completed training to operate a powered industrial truck
— Not allowing sufficient access and working space around electrical equipment

One other violation was for failure to report a work-related amputation within the required 24 hours.

“The issuance of repeated citations is a clear indication that Columbia Recycling continues to ignore OSHA’s safety standards and lacks concern to protect workers at this facility,” said Christi Griffin, OSHA’s director of the Atlanta-West Office. “Employers need to be proactive and should not wait for an OSHA inspection to assess and correct workplace safety hazards.”

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