An electronic cabinet manufacturer is facing $161,020 in fines levied by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for health and safety issues — including amputation hazards — the agency found at a Lawrenceville production facility earlier this year.
Inspectors from the administration, more commonly known as OSHA, found several issues that raised concerns during a visit to Optima Stantron Corp.'s former Lawrenceville facility on MacLeod Drive in February and March. The company, which is now located at a different facility in Lawrenceville, is a subsidiary of Elma Electronic Inc.
OSHA announced the citation and fines earlier this month.
“Employers are responsible for continuously protecting their employees from safety and health hazards,” OSHA Atlanta-East Area Director William Fulcher said in a statement. “OSHA offers compliance assistance resources and specialists that can help employers identify and correct hazards in their workplaces.”
Among the concerns raised by OSHA was a lack of machine guarding and hazardous energy control and respiratory protection programs. Optima Stantron was also cited for not providing a chemical hazard communication program or hand and face protections against chemical exposure.
A need for refresher training for powered industrial truck operators was also highlighted.
According to OSHA's report, one issue inspectors observed was a lack of guarding at an unused part of a horizontal band saw. The lack of guarding created an amputation hazards, according to the report.
Inspectors also said workers in a storage area were being exposed to smoke inhalation and thermal burn hazards because of an unsecured acetylene cylinder that did not have a valve cap.
Similar hazards existed in an area where unsecured oxygen and an acetylene cylinder were being stored less than one foot away from each other, according to the report.
Some of the other issues included:
• Fall hazards in a dust collector area
• An employee was not given any lockout or tagout devices that could isolate energy sources while performing maintenance work
• Monthly fire extinguisher inspections had not been performed since February 2018
• A lack of training on how to use portable fire extinguishers
• Powered industrial truck operators had not been evaluated since 2013
• Two workers were "not looking in the direction of travel" while they operated forklifts
• No protections against "caught-in and crushing hazards" at tip tables in the cabinet assembly area
• Compressed air was being used at or above 100 P.S.I. to clear debris off work areas and employees when the pressure is required to be less than 30 P.S.I.
• Use of an electrical plug that had been repaired with electricians tape to create a housing for the plug
Optima Stantron has moved to a new location on Newpoint Parkway in Lawrenceville since OSHA's inspectors did their review of the company's operations.
Plans for the move were announced late in the period when OSHA officials were inspecting operations in Lawrenceville.
The move was completed over the summer.
Elma Electronic President Shan Morgan said in an email that the company is working to address all of OSHA's concerns. He also highlighted the company's safety record in recent years.
“Elma received the notification report from OSHA last week and we have been in contact with them to review the findings," Morgan said. "We have a meeting set for this coming Monday. Elma takes the safety of our employees extremely seriously and it is our highest priority.
"We have not had an accident of any kind for nearly two years and have already taken action to mitigate the findings of OSHA.”