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Georgia Company Gets Slapped with Violations for Failing to Prevent Work-Related Accidents in Atlanta

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Excelso Coffee and Tea Co. recently received nearly 20 safety violations for having traces of combustible dust and other various hazards in the workplace. Its Norcross manufacturing facility was responsible for the violations. This is where the company conducts a number of its tea and coffee blending tests and operations.

A Site-Specific Targeting program warranted the investigation of the facility back in April. This program, operated by OSHA, aims to direct its enforcement efforts to businesses of work sites that have a history of high rates of illnesses and work-related injuries in Atlanta and elsewhere.
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Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys continue to follow issues combustible dust in the workplace — which has led to a number of plant explosions in recent years. A company can be fined and sued for deserved compensation if they do not take the proper safety precautions to protect employees. Excelso Coffee and Tea Co. received nearly $47,000 in proposed fines.

The company received fourteen citations for violating a number of safety regulations. These violations were for:

-Failing to keep steel beams and floors at the facility free of tea and coffee dust.

-Failing to have insulation devices to help prevent explosions and fires near the dust collector.

-Failing to have an emergency plan.

-Employees were not trained on how to properly use fire extinguishers.

-Not properly storing wiring in an electrical panel.

-Not having machine guards on equipment on the packaging lines.

-Not properly training employees on the operations of a forklift.

-Stairs lacked standard railings and guardrails.

-Using flexible cords as permanent wiring.

-Improperly adjusting bench grinders.

-Not using the air compressor properly to clean equipment.

-The facility did not have a station for employees to wash their eyes of harmful debris.

-Employees were not given protection to keep their hands safe from heat and sharp objects.

The company received a number of less-serious violations, including:

-Failing to keep track of injuries that occurred from 2007 to 2009.

-Failing to properly mark “exit” signs at the facility.

-Failing to provide employees that require a respirator with a proper medical evaluation.

-Blocking the facility’s electrical panels.

“Fixing these violations now is a lot easier than recovering from a fire or explosion that can result in injuries or even loss of life,” says William Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office.

The coffee company has 15 business days to deal with the violations. They have the option of paying the fines, contesting the fines or requesting a meeting with their local OSHA office.

If you observe unsafe working conditions at your place of employment or at any other work facility, you can report your findings to OSHA by calling 800-321-OSHA (6742).

If you are injured on the job, it is important for you to contact an experienced lawyer to help you fight for the proper compensation. Injuries and sufferings can include medical bills and work-loss costs. You should not be responsible for these costs, especially if the hazard could have been prevented by your employer.

If you have experienced a serious injury at work in the Atlanta area and want to discuss your rights, contact the experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at J. Franklin Burns. Call 404-303-7770 to make a free appointment to discuss your claim.

More Blog Entries:

OSHA’s Whistleblower Protections Program gets Makeover to Address Employees Concerns of Work Accidents in Atlanta and Elsewhere, Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, August 15, 2011

Georgia Work Accident Kills Experienced Power Line Employee, Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, August 10, 2011