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Georgia company cited by OSHA for serious violations

A Georgia logistics company is facing sanctions stemming from a May 7 fire at one of its warehouses. After completing an investigation into the incident, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for three violations that are categorized as serious and carry fines totaling $16,840.

An OSHA representative said that the company has a history of safety violations. Reportedly, the company has paid approximately $13,000 in fines since 2010.

Authorities said that the May 7 incident occurred when an employee was filling a propane tank and a fire erupted, spreading rapidly to nearby wooden pallets and multiple trailers. The worker who had been filling the propane tank was injured in the accident, authorities reported.

OSHA considers a violation serious when there is a significant risk of serious injury or death. According to one violation, carrying a fine of $6,930, some of the company's propane tanks did not have gauges. Another violation levied against the company, carrying a $5,950 fine, is for not providing or requiring adequate hand protection for employees. The third violation, carrying a $3,960 fine, says that the company was not providing employees with adequate equipment to protect their eyes. Furthermore, OSHA assigned the company strict deadlines for remedying these safety issues and providing documentation that verifies that the matters had been addressed.

According to federal regulations, employers are expected to provide their workers with a safe working environment and all necessary safety equipment. This is particularly true when the work being performed is inherently dangerous or involves hazardous materials. When people suffer injuries as a result of a work accident, they have the right to file a workers' compensation claim. In this way, injured workers may seek benefits covering medical expenses and lost wages related to their injuries.

Source: WSAV, "Pooler Company Faces Fines from OSHA after Warehouse Fire", JoAnn Merrigan, July 28, 2014

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