A Gainesville, Ga., plastics recycling facility is facing more than $100,000 in potential fines from the federal government due to alleged safety and health violations.
Nemo Plastics Inc. is being cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for alleged problems surrounding explosion and fire hazards due to dust accumulation, amputation hazards due to missing machine guards and failure to develop a noise monitoring program, the agency said.
The company also did not provide employees personal protective clothing and failed to implement a hazardous energy control program that would prevent machinery start-up during service and maintenance work, OSHA alleged.
Nemo also is being cited for alleged “failure to evaluate spaces such as silos to determine if they were permit-required confined spaces,” OSHA said.
The company received citations for 21 alleged “serious” and three “other-than-serious” violations, the agency said.
The alleged other-than-serious violations included exposing workers to electrical hazards, not providing certain information for employees using respirators and failure to post combustible dust warning signs, OSHA said.
OSHA is proposing penalties totaling $133,443, the agency said.
“The hazards identified during this complaint inspection are preventable by taking basic safety precautions such as providing personal protective equipment, performing routine housekeeping and guarding machines so that a worker doesn't get injured or killed,” said William Fulcher, an OSHA area director, in a statement.
Nemo Plastics is based in Atlanta and handles more than 75 million pounds of post-industrial and post-consumer materials each year, according to the company's website. The company also handles recycled paper, OSHA said.