US Department of Labor cites Atlanta recycling company for continually exposing workers to chemical hazards, proposes $311K in penalties
ATLANTA – Federal workplace safety inspectors determined that an Atlanta recycling company exposed workers to hazardous chemicals without warning them of the risks. This is the third time since 2019 that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for similar violations.
An OSHA inspection in December 2021 found that TAV Holdings Inc. failed to provide workers the safety data sheets for all chemicals used in the Atlanta facility and did not list the chemicals in the company’s hazard communication program. Earlier in 2021, the agency issued citations for similar violations at the company’s Greenville, South Carolina, site and in 2019 at the Atlanta facility.
OSHA proposed $311,934 in penalties after identifying three repeat and 28 serious safety and health violations in its most recent investigation. TAV Holdings failed to:
- Install a fall protection system around unprotected sides of a pit.
- Keep exit routes unobstructed, and post signs along obscured exits to show the correct routes.
- Specify techniques to isolate energy sources on machines within the energy control procedures.
- Train employees on hazardous energy sources for equipment.
- Provide guarding on rotating parts and ingoing nip and pinch points on a drill press and conveyer.
- Mark electrical panel circuits to indicate their purpose and enclose an electrical control panel.
- Provide audiometric testing or annual training on hazards associated with high noise levels, and provide hearing protection to some employees.
- Conduct annual training on the use of respirators and fit tests for employees.
“TAV Holdings Inc.’s repeated disregard for workers’ safety is inexcusable, especially after our previous investigations identified the serious risks involved,” said OSHA Area Office Director Jeffery Stawowy in Atlanta-West. “They have a legal obligation to provide their employees with a safe and healthful workplace.”
During the Atlanta on-site visit, OSHA inspectors also found that Atlanta’s XL MachineWorks LLC – a metal fabrication contractor employed at TAV Holdings – failed to train its employees on how to safely operate forklifts and properly anchor a bench grinder. The contractor also failed to guard a lathe machine and improperly used extension cords to power equipment. For these four serious violations, the agency proposed $11,188 in penalties to XL MachineWorks.
The current investigation was initiated after receiving a referral from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Visit OSHA’s website for information on developing a workplace safety and health program. Employers can also contact the agency for information about OSHA’s compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards.