OSHA fines Georgia contractor following chemical inhalation death

ConDig (28-Apr-20).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a Georgia-based contractor $183,127 after a fatal incident at a worksite in Perry, Georgia.

OSHA launched a probe after a Creative Multicare Inc employee suffered fatal injuries after inhaling lacquer thinner, which was used to resurface a bathtub. 

The agency cited the plumbing and resurfacing contractor based in Stockbridge for failing to evaluate the chemical wash cleaning task and determine workers’ level of exposure to the lacquer thinner. 

The agency also cited the company for improperly labeling mixtures used to clean and resurface bathtubs and countertops and exposing employees to a concentration of toluene several times above permissible exposure limits. 

Creative Multicare also received citations for allowing flash fire and explosion hazards and for failing to provide suitable facilities for quick drenching and flushing of the eyes and body and flame retardant clothing. It was also penalized for not performing a personal protective equipment assessment and using respirators properly.

“Employers must be vigilant in identifying and eliminating recognized safety and health hazards when allowing employees to work with hazardous chemicals,” said OSHA acting Atlanta-East area office director William Cochran. 

“Employers that implement robust safety programs have a greater chance of ensuring their employees remain safe and healthy each day.”  

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Last month, OSHA fined a Turnkey Construction Planners Inc $114,294 for exposing workers to fall hazards at two worksites in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.

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