Dalton recycling firm fined again for what regulators say is pattern of serious worker safety violations
October 8th, 2016 by Dave Flessner
For the third time in the past decade, a Dalton, Ga., recycling company is being fined for what regulators say is a pattern of serious worker safety violations at its 460-employee plant.
Columbia Recycling Corp., which extrudes textile and plastic wastes to make reprocessed pellets for injection molding in the automotive industry, is being slapped with $317,814 in fines from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Regulators cited repeated violations of safety standards following the company's $28,590 of fines in a 2012 citation and a $36,500 fine for violations of safety rules in 2007.
The company has reported at least a half dozen fires at its plant on Dixie Highway in Dalton over the past decade.
Phillip Goldberg, president of Columbia Recycling Corp., said Friday he had no comment on the latest OSHA citations and declined to indicate whether the company might exercise its right to appeal the proposed penalties within the next two weeks.
In a citation order this week, OSHA cited "serious violations" of safety rules by the company for improper storage of compressed gas cylinders, inadequate working space around electrical equipment and failing to ensure employee training for industrial truck operations. The company was cited for repeatedly failing to administer an effective hearing conservation program, for not ensuring that name plates were maintained in a legible condition and for inadequate handling and protection of gas storage and liquefied petroleum equipment.
"The issuance of repeated citations is a clear indication that Columbia Recycling continues to ignore OSHA's safety standards and lacks concerns to protect workers at this facility," Christi Griffin, director of the Atlanta-West OSHA office, said in a statement. "Employers need to be proactive and should not wait for an OSHA inspection to assess and correct workplace safety hazards."