Three Story Fall Kills Plant Worker, Injures One More

Commerce, GA- A construction worker at the SK Battery plant in Jackson County, Georgia was declared dead after he sustained injuries from a three story fall.

The accident itself took place November 4, 2020 at the plant’s Formation Building. Reportedly the worker fell through a hole in an air vent 46 feet above the ground, later landing on top of a female worker standing below who also sustained injuries.

Jackson County deputy coroner, Jeff Rogers, said the 34-year-old Augusta man suffered brain injuries and was kept on life support until this weekend. The female worker remains in critical condition but is ultimately expected to survive.

Some workers have told reporters at FOX 5 they worry sub-contractors are sacrificing safety for speed. “You take chances in our trade and you wind up dead,” warned Randy Gregory when FOX 5 Atlanta talked to him in September.

This month’s accident follows other recent injuries at the site. Recently, one worker was hospitalized after he fell through a ceiling, while another allegedly fell through a roof. Fall Protection Training actively addresses the factors that lead to such incidents like these three occurring.

Deputy coroner Rogers said the investigation by OSHA will determine whether the man who died followed safety procedures and at what fault the subcontractors and company will be held at.

“They’re going back out to the site,” explained the deputy coroner. “They’re interviewing witnesses, employees that were there that saw the accident.”

Originally sourced from Fox 5 Atlanta.

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OSHA Fines Tire Warehouse over $190,000

Buford, GA- A Buford distribution center has received over $190,000 in fines for safety violations that put its employees at risk, the U.S. Department of Labor said.

The $191,895 fine was levied against Mavis Southeast — the company better known as Mavis Discount Tire — on Dec. 23, following a routine inspection by the Occupational Safety and Heath Administration done on Sept. 11. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Inspectors found some warehouse emergency exits were blocked with items including stacks of tires, putting employees at risk in case of a fire or other instances when an urgent exit would be required. The facility also lacked emergency exit signs in required positions, a repeat offense, the agency said in its citation report. The repeat violations stem from issues first recorded in 2016, the report says.OSHA fines tire warehouse

Employees were seen without required safety equipment while working at elevations up to 25 feet, and multiple industrial storage racks had visible damage, presenting a risk to warehouse workers, the report said. Aisles where workers walk near trucks and other industrial machinery were not properly labeled, risking workers being struck by machinery, the report said. Congested and narrow aisles also presented a danger to forklift operators, according to the report.

Fire extinguishers were not easily accessible and did not undergo required monthly inspections or an annual maintenance check, the report said. Multiple violations regarding a lack of employee safety training were also noted in the report.

The company must respond the citation within 15 business days and include certifications that show the violations have been fixed. Mavis Southeast has the right to contest the citations and fines, but must do so within the 15-day period.

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GA Arc Flash Accident Generates $110K+ in OSHA Fines

Euharlee, GA – Georgia Power faces $112,000 in proposed fines from federal workplace safety regulators after an arc flash severely burned an electrician at it’s Bowen plant in the fall of 2015. OSHA’s recent investigation of the Bowen generating facility resulted in two repeated, five serious, and two other-than-serious safety citations.

The arc flash occurred when a 48-year-old electrician was working on an electrical cabinet that was still powered. The electrician, an employee of Zurich-based technology company ABB Inc., suffered second and third-degree burns to his hands, arms and torso.

An Arc Flash is an electrical explosion due to a fault condition or short circuit when either a phase to ground or phase to phase conductor is connected and current flows through the air. Arc flashes cause electrical equipment to explode, resulting in injury or death to workers and destruction of electrical equipment.

Georgia Power received two repeat citations farc flashor failing to ensure the electrical cabinet was not powered down before allowing work to begin and not developing specific steps to power down machinery and prevent start up during maintenance and servicing (known as Lockout/Tagout). Georgia Power was cited for these same lockout violations at the Bowen facility in 2014.

The company was also cited for serious violations such as failing to ensure proper grounding of electrical equipment, inform other employers of their electrical lockout program and provide adequate procedures for electrical energy isolation.

In addition, the injured electrician’s employer, ABB, was issued two serious citations for its failure to coordinate with other employers on the specific requirements of removing power from equipment before maintenance and servicing and for exposing workers to electrical hazards. ABB Inc. faces $10,780 of proposed OSHA fines.

When an arc flash happens, it does so without warning and is lightning quick. The result of this violent event is usually destruction of the equipment involved, fire, and severe injury or death to any nearby people. Contact a member of our Safety & Compliance Team today to ensure proper safety and protection measures are in place at your facility to limit the damage from an arc flash. Contact Us for a Free Consultation on How We Can Help You with Your Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Labeling, Training & Safety Needs.

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Georgia Automotive Manufacturer Faces OSHA Fines

Suwanee, GA – PAI Industries, Inc. faces close to $56,000 in federal OSHA fines following an inspection by investigators for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The auto parts manufacturer was issued 14 citations for serious violations following an OSHA inspection in the fall of 2014. The inspection was part of a regional The Change in OSHA Lockout Update osha finescanvassing of automotive industries, according to a press release from the U.S. Labor Department.

OSHA cited PAI for not ensuring machinery could not accidentally start up during maintenance and servicing, an industry practice known as Lockout/Tagout. Additional violations included not requiring eye protection; exposing workers to trip and fall hazards; not providing a workplace free from recognized hazards; failure to implement a noise monitoring program; and not ensuring fire extinguishers were properly mounted and labeled.

“The results from this on-site enforcement inspection illustrate the need for OSHA’s focus on the automotive parts industry,” said William Fulcher director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office. “Employers can’t only rely on OSHA to identify hazards; they must be proactive in protecting the health and safety of their workers.”

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