In the release, it states that there were 10 serious violations for exposing workers to amputation and electrical shock hazards at the company’s Calhoun facility.
Such violations included failing to develop and use lockout/tagout procedures to control the energy sources of equipment; remove a forklift with an inoperable horn from service; protect workers from electrocution hazards; and provide guards on blades, cutting heads, sprocket wheels, chains, shafts, belts and pulleys. 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, according to the press release.
“This inspection has identified violations that involve possible amputations by unguarded equipment and electrical shock dangers,” said Andre Richards, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office. “Employers cannot wait for an OSHA inspection to identify hazards that are exposing their employees to serious injuries. It is good business to implement preventive programs and systems that ensure such hazards are identified and corrected as part of day-to-day operations.”
OSHA’s inspection, initiated in November 2011 upon receipt of a complaint, was conducted as part of the agency’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations and its Local Emphasis Program on Powered Industrial Trucks. The proposed penalties totaled $53,000, according to the press release.
Nance Carpet and Rug, which employs about 55 workers at its Calhoun facility, manufactures area rugs and remnants for residential and commercial purposes. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, said the press release.
“Those issues were resolved the day it happened; we have been here 40 years and have never had any problems,” explained Carol Nance, owner and CEO of Nance Carpet and Rug Co. Inc. “All issues have been resolved and corrected. We would never knowingly have our employees work where it is unsafe.”
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s work force by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance, according to the press release.