OSHA inspected the Macon plant after Diamond Plastics employees contacted the agency to report unsafe conditions that the company "failed to abate," according to Gei Thae Breezley, OSHA's Atlanta-East area director.
Breezley added that the inspection was conducted under a national emphasis program to reduce worker amputation injuries. The company had been cited previously for exposing workers to these safety hazards.
OSHA issued three repeat citations, with proposed penalties of $45,000, for allegedly:
- Exposing workers to amputations from unguarded machinery;
- Failing to train employees in lockout-tagout procedures to ensure that energized equipment was rendered inoperable during servicing and repair; and
- Failing to maintain and assure that eyewash showers were available for employees working with and around corrosive chemicals.
The company also received seven serious citations, with proposed penalties of $21,500, for allegedly failing to:
- Develop and implement procedures to control equipment energy sources during service and repair;
- Inspect and properly maintain cranes and hoists;
- Properly guard machinery; and
- Assure that welding operations were conducted in an area free of combustible material.
An article in the Sept. 8 Macon Telegraph reported that Diamond Plastics planned to contest the OSHA fines. The article quoted a company official as saying Diamond Plastics has "addressed all OSHA concerns in a timely manner" after the agency inspected the Macon plant 6 months ago.
A phone call placed to Diamond Plastics' headquarters seeking comment was not immediately returned.