OSHA Fines Ga. Company for Safety Violations

OSHA cited the Bull Moose Tube Company and proposed $68,900 in\r\npenalties for safety violations found during an inspection at the\r\ncompany's Trenton, Ga., facility.

OSHA cited the Bull Moose Tube Company and proposed $68,900 in penalties for safety violations found during an inspection at the company''s Trenton, Ga., facility.

The agency cited the Missouri-based company for four repeat violations with proposed penalties totaling $47,900.

Two of the repeat violations -- unguarded machinery and unenclosed chains and sprockets -- exposed workers to amputations and potentially fatal injuries.

The remaining two repeat citations dealt with improperly supported compressed gas cylinders and failure to ensure periodic inspection of the energy control procedure by an authorized employee.

According to Thomas Brown, OSHA''s Atlanta-West area director, "The company''s Chicago, Ill., steel pipe and tube manufacturing plant was cited for the same violations in 1998. OSHA has particular concerns when an employer has been cited for hazards and fails to take corrective action to protect workers at all its facilities."

The remaining $21,000 penalty was proposed for six serious violations: lack of guardrails around an 8-foot deep open pit; lack of stair rails on an open-sided stairway; lack of lockout/tagout procedures to render machinery inoperable during maintenance and repair; improperly guarded electrical equipment; improper use of compressed gas for cleaning purposes, and exposing workers to possible fire or explosion hazards by locating a gas tank in an area where it could be hit by moving vehicles.

The company, which employs about 2,000 workers nationwide and 57 at the Trenton location, has 15 working days to contest OSHA''s citations and proposed penalties.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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