Combustible Dust Hazards Draw Fine

Friday, March 2, 2012 @ 03:03 PM gHale

AGrowStar LLC is facing $74,375 in fines for 22 safety and health violations, including combustible dust accumulations, following an inspection that began in September after the agency received a complaint about the company’s grain handling facility in Fort Valley, GA, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

“This employer put workers at risk of serious injury or death by failing to implement proper safety and health protections,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office.

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The company faces 20 serious violations for allowing combustible dust to accumulate, and failing to develop and implement lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources; develop a housekeeping program for areas that store wheat, corn and soybean; train industrial truck operators; prevent amputation hazards by guarding machinery; develop an emergency action plan; train on an annual basis employees exposed to fire or explosion hazards; secure a permit prior to entering a confined space to perform maintenance; conduct atmospheric testing before entering silos; list chemicals in the hazard communication program; provide fall protection; and properly install and repair electrical equipment. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Two other-than-serious violations with no monetary penalties include failing to develop and implement a respiratory program for workers required to wear respirators, and to maintain inspection certification of storage and grain moving equipment at the facility. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

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