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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

News Brief

OSHA News Brief: [03/19/2015]
Contact Name: Michael D'Aquino or Lindsay Williams
Phone Number: (678) 237-0630
D' or
Release Number: 14-0394-ATL

OSHA cites Georgia wood products manufacturer for exposing workers to fire, amputation and unprotected equipment hazards

Employer name: K.W. McAvoy & Son Inc.

Inspection site: 3500 Greensboro Road, Washington, Georgia 30673

Date investigation initiated: OSHA initiated the investigation on Nov. 5, 2014, after the agency received a complaint related to safety and health hazards at the facility.

Investigation findings: OSHA issued 12 serious citations to the employer for not having a program to ensure machinery could not accidentally start up during maintenance and servicing; exposing workers to amputation hazards due to unprotected rotating conveyor parts; allowing employees to use compressed air for cleaning in excess of 30 pounds per square inch; failing to ensure forklift operators were trained and used seat belts; allowing excessive amounts of sawdust to accumulate causing fire and explosion hazards and several instances of failing to protect employees from contact with hazardous equipment. Two other violations include the employer's failure to ensure electrical boxes were covered and not using permanent fixed 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.

Quote: "Employers cannot wait for an injury, illness or OSHA inspection to begin protecting employees from workplace hazards," said William Fulcher director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "There is plenty of free help available to employers who need to improve their workplaces and prevent workers' injuries or illnesses."

Proposed Penalties: $45,500

View citations here:

K.W. McAvoy provides wood reprocessing and supplies for surveying and construction. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Atlanta-East Area Office at 770-493-6644.