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Downey Metal Products Inc. is facing $55,300 in fines for 17 serious and three other-than-serious safety and health violations following a complaint received in April concerning workplace hazards at the company’s facility in Adairsville, GA, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Downey Metal Products Inc. specializes in the fabrication and painting of architectural and ornamental metal components.

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Fourteen serious safety and health violations include the employer’s failure to develop and implement a lockout/tagout program; guard the point of operation on press brakes and drill presses; store oxygen cylinders in a secure manner; ensure knockouts were in place on an electrical panel; and ensure that a junction box had a cover.

The employer also failed to ensure all exits remained unlocked; ensure that a decrease in air velocity in the spray booth could be detected by audible alarm or gauge; maintain an automatic sprinkler system in the spray booths; use approved electrical equipment in the powder coating area; evaluate the facility for permit-required confined spaces; provide an eyewash/shower in an area where workers use corrosive materials; provide fire extinguisher training to workers required to use portable fire extinguishers; and ensure that powder coating material did not accumulate on the outside roof of the building. 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.

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Three other-than-serious safety violations, with no monetary penalties, involve the employer not developing a hazard communication program; providing training to workers using hazardous chemicals; and developing a written respiratory protection program that includes training, medical evaluation and proper fit test. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

“This employer has an extensive list of hazards that must be immediately removed from the workplace to protect its workers,” said Christi Griffin, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office. “It is imperative that management not rely on an OSHA inspection to identify and remove hazards.”

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