OSHA Cites Georgia Carpet Manufacturer Following Fatal Workplace Accident

Proposed penalties total $126,450 for safety and health violations; accident could have been prevented

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Oriental Weavers of America following a fatal accident at the company's Dalton, Ga., manufacturing plant. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $126,450.

"This tragic accident could have been prevented if the company had followed required safety procedures," said Andre C. Richards, OSHA's Atlanta-West area director. "Our investigation also found significant noise hazards at the plant."

OSHA's fatality inspection began Jan. 20 after an employee was pulled by her clothing into a twisting machine and caught by a rotating shaft. While conducting the safety inspection, OSHA also determined that there were potential noise hazards and initiated a health inspection.

The agency issued 31 alleged serious safety violations with proposed penalties of $81,900 for hazards associated with machine guarding; equipment restarting; walking and working surfaces; falls; and fixed stairways.

OSHA issues serious citations when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazards.

Oriental Weavers of America also received 11 alleged health violations with proposed penalties of $44,550 for hazards including high noise levels; inadequate personal protective equipment; confined space entry; lack of eyewash and safety showers; and improper hazard communication procedures.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

More in Operations