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Georgia manufacturer cited by US Labor Department’s OSHA for 16 safety and health violations; more than $52,000 proposed in fines

TOCCOA, Ga. – Curahee Group, doing business as Pak Pro LLC in Toccoa, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 16 safety and health violations. OSHA initiated an inspection upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards.

Fifteen serious safety and health violations carrying proposed penalties totaling $52,360 involve failing to create a lockout/tagout program for machines’ energy sources to protect workers who are required to maintain and repair equipment, reduce the pressure on an air hose to less than 30 pounds per square inch, ensure that industrial truck operators complete required training, provide equipment guarding on a band saw and bench grinder, ensure the use of personal protective equipment by workers exposed to potential eye hazards while using a solution that contains ammonia, store oxygen and acetylene cylinders at least 20 feet apart, and ensure access to portable fire extinguishers. Additional violations include having an exit door that does not swing in the outward direction, various electrical deficiencies and exposing employees to struck- or crushed-by hazards. 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.

One other-than-serious violation is failing to inspect portable fire extinguishers on a monthly basis. The citation does not carry a monetary penalty. 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.

“Employers are responsible for the safety and health of their workplaces and must take the necessary corrective action to eliminate hazards,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office.

The company, which manufactures commercial packaging, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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