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Paint, Other Hazards Draw $86K Fine

Thursday, June 28, 2012

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Slippery coatings on floors, inadequate protection for paint workers, and other hazards have drawn 26 federal safety and health citations against an Atlanta manufacturer of metal storage systems.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Spruill Products Inc. for the violations and issued fines totaling $86,200.

 Spruill Products was cited for 22 violations in 2008.

 Spruill Products Inc.

Spruill Products was cited for 22 violations in 2008. Five of the new citations were for repeat violations.

OSHA inspected the company in January under the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces with higher-than-average rates of injuries and illnesses.

In 2008, the manufacturer was cited for 22 health and safety violations (20 of them serious) and fined $28,400.

The company did not respond Thursday (June 28) to a request for comment.

Repeat Violations

Five repeat violations, previously cited in 2008, including allowing the floor in the paint area to be covered with a slippery powder coating and liquid. They also allege failure to:

• Ensure that employees wear eye and face protection;

• Develop and implement specific “lockout/tagout” procedures for paint ovens and other equipment before performing service and maintenance;

• Provide training on lockout/tagout procedures, including training for the many non-English-speaking employees; and

• Provide equipment guarding on band saws, presses and press brakes.

A repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited for the same or a similar violation within five years. Fines for the repeat violations total $38,680.

 The company specializes in the design and manufacture of storage racking systems, stairs, shelving, grating and other metal products.
The company specializes in the design and manufacture of storage racking systems, stairs, shelving, grating and other metal products.

“Repeat violations indicate this employer has failed to ensure that workplace hazards previously brought to management’s attention stayed corrected,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office.

Serious Violations

Sixteen serious safety and health violations include allegations that the employer failed to:

• Ensure that employees use appropriate hand protection while handling powder paints and phosphoric acid;

• Cover a 22-by-56-inch hole in the floor of the paint area;

• Regularly inspect cranes, hooks and hoist chains;

• Ensure that workers using 84 psi compressed air in the spray paint area wore personal protective equipment;

• Provide medical evaluations, clean respirators, training and fit testing for powder coating workers and other employees required to wear tight-fitting respirators;

• Provide training about coating and other chemical hazards in the workplace;

• Administer a hearing conservation program;

• Provide an emergency eye wash station for powder coating workers; and

• Properly store oxygen and acetylene cylinders.

The company is also accused of improperly using relocatable power taps to power industrial equipment, exposing workers to trip and fall hazards, and failing to adequately guard machinery.

The serious citations, which carry penalties of $47,520, reflect substantial probability of death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known, according to OSHA.

Other Violations

Five other-than-serious violations, which do not carry fines, allege failure to:

• Create a fire extinguisher training program;

• Require proper training on the operation of powered industrial trucks;

• Create and implement a program to keep all mechanical power presses in a safe operating condition; and

• Label electrical disconnects to identify what they control.

Established in 1964, Spruill Products specializes in the design and manufacture of storage racking systems, stairs, shelving, grating and other metal products. The company has 15 business days to respond to the citations.


Tagged categories: Citations; Health and safety; OSHA; Violations

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