US DOL Cites GA Plastic Recycler for Violating Security Requirements After Employee Sustains Deadly Accidents From a Fall

US DOL cited GA plastics recyclers for violating safety standards after a worker sustained fatal injuries from a fall

  • 06/23/21

Toccoa, GA ( – With the holidays approaching, a 56-year-old worker at a Toccoa plastics processing plant could never have guessed that he would be spending Christmas Day in a hospital and dying of a head injury after suffering more than fell 6 feet from a raised platform.

A December 21, 2020 inspection of the incident by the US Department of Labor’s Department of Occupational Health and Safety revealed that Scrap Masters Inc. had installed fall protection on the platform, but it did not meet federal safety standards. OSHA led the company not to equip stairs and platforms with guardrails to prevent falls.

In addition, OSHA found that the employer failed to:

  • Mount and mark fire extinguishers to expose workers to fire hazards. The employer has also not carried out a training program on how to use the fire extinguishers.
  • Repair powered industrial trucks and ensure workers wear seat belts when operating a forklift.
  • Offer a powered industrial truck training program that consists of formal and hands-on training and an assessment of the employee’s performance in the workplace.
  • Develop and use specific procedures for employees who service and maintain machines and who expose them to amputation risks.
  • Prevent workers from being exposed to occupational noise levels above the allowable time-weighted average.

In total, the OSHA cited Scrap Masters with eight serious and five repeated violations and suggested fines of $ 164,308.

“If employers fail to put safety programs in place, the consequences can be fatal,” said Michael Hejazi, OSHA deputy area director in Atlanta-East. “Implementing the necessary security measures can mean the difference between a tragic incident and everyone returning safely to their families.”

Scrap Masters Inc. recycles plastic gasoline tanks and has a sister office in Manchester, Michigan. OSHA has inspected the company five times in the past five years, with four of the inspections taking place at the Toccoa facility. Of these four inspections, three resulted in citations.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of its subpoenas and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area manager, or challenge the results to the Independent Occupational Health and Safety Commission.


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