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Tuesday May 5th, 2015 11:16AM

OSHA proposes fines at facility in Flowery Branch

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
FLOWERY BRANCH - Federal safety regulators have cited a facility in Flowery Branch for alleged safety violations following a June inspection at the operation.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Koswire Inc. following a June inspection of its south Hall County operation. OSHA officials said they initiated the inspection after getting a complaint.

OSHA alleges the operation had one repeat violation and four so called serious safety violations. The agency recommended fines totalling $60,805.

According to OSHA, the repeat violation involved the facility failing to give workers doing cleaning work proper training on energy procedures. The agency said Koswire was cited for a similar violation in 2010.

The four remaining violations include, "the employer failing to ensure workers performing cleaning operations use lockout/tagout procedures, ensure usage of lockout/tagout devices, protect workers from exposure to electrical hazards by not using a metallic box as intended by the manufacturer and permit sufficient access to an electrical panel," according to an OSHA statement.

"This employer has an extensive OSHA history, yet continues to expose workers to lockout/tagout and electrical hazards that could cause serious injury," Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office said.

The steel wire manufacturer has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Atlanta-East area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

At this same time last year, Koswire was fined by OSHA for safety violations. The company was the site of a worker death in March 2012 when an employee became caught in wire and was pulled into a machine.
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