Golden Dragon Copper Inc., doing business as GD Copper USA Inc., is facing $196,900 in fines for 14 health and safety violations at its Pine Hill, AL, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigators issued citations to GD Copper for two willful, one repeat, nine serious and two other-than-serious safety violations.

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The agency issued willful citations for exposing employees to slip, trip and fall hazards and allowing employees to work on equipment without following proper safety procedures to protect them from hazardous stored energy. One repeat violation relates to failing to provide training on hazardous energy sources and the methods available to secure the energy prior to performing maintenance on equipment.

The serious violations relate to:
• Exposing employees to unguarded machine parts and equipment
• Putting workers in danger of falls due to missing safety rails
• Failing to evaluate a permit required confined space prior to workers entering
• Not conducting annual audits of the energy control procedures
• Exposing workers to electric shock hazards

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The other violations involve not ensuring employees were trained in first aid and failing to provide training on an emergency action plan and fire extinguishers.

“Our inspection has identified numerous serious safety hazards that put employees at risk of injury or death,” said Joseph Roesler, OSHA’s area director in Mobile. “GD Copper must be more proactive in identifying these hazards and taking action to correct them. Employers should not wait for an OSHA inspection or an incident to occur before they assess their workplace to ensure workers at protected.”

GD Copper manufactures tubing for heating and cooling systems, appliances, refrigeration and plumbing. Based in China, the company employs 390 workers in Pine Hill.

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