A fatal accident at a Georgia plastics recycling plant has the firm facing $164,000 in fines after it failed to meet government standards for fall protection, federal safety officials announced June 22.
A 56-year-old worker died from a head injury after falling more than 6 feet from an elevated platform at a Scrap Masters Inc. facility in Toccoa, Ga., on Dec. 21, 2020, according to a news release from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
OSHA said that an inspection "found that while Scrap Masters Inc. had installed some fall protection on the platform, it failed to meet federal safety standards."
The agency said it cited the company, which is based in Manchester, Mich., for failing to equip stairs and platforms with guardrails to prevent falls.
OSHA said it has inspected the company five times in the last five years, with four of those inspections coming in its Georgia plant. It said three of those four resulted in citations issued.
"When employers fail to put safety programs in place, the results can be fatal," said Michael Hejazi, OSHA acting area director for Atlanta-East. "Implementing required safety procedures can mean the difference between a tragic incident and everyone going home safely to their families."
The company did not respond to a request for comment. On its website, Scrap Masters said it specializes in post-industrial recycling, grinding and reprocessing more than 20 million pounds of scrap a year, as well as offering waste management consulting.
OSHA said it was proposing eight serious and five repeat violation citations totaling $164,308.
In its statement, OSHA said the company did not meet a number of safety standards, saying it failed to mount and mark fire extinguishers and implement a training program for the use of the extinguishers.
It also said the company did not repair powered industrial trucks and ensure workers wore a seatbelt when operating a forklift, and provide a proper training program on powered industrial trucks.
It said Scrap Masters did not develop procedures for employees performing machine maintenance activities on machines, exposing them to amputation hazards, and it said workers were exposed to occupational noise levels above allowable limits.