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Koswire cited again for safety violations

POSTED: August 27, 2013 12:32 a.m.

A Flowery Branch steel wire manufacturer cited last year following an accident involving one of its workers came under fire again Monday, as a federal agency issued new citations for safety violations stemming from a June inspection.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated in a press release that Koswire Inc. at 4600 Cantrell Road committed one repeat and four serious safety violations and that penalties could total $60,805.

OSHA conducted the inspection after receiving a complaint, officials said.

The repeat violation, with $38,500 in penalties, involves the company “failing to provide workers performing cleaning operations with training on energy control procedures,” the OSHA release states.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company received a citation for a similar violation in November 2010 at this plant.

Four serious safety violations, with $22,305 in penalties, involve the company “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 OSHA.

A serious violation occurs when “there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.”

“This employer has an extensive OSHA history, yet continues to expose workers to lockout/tagout and electrical hazards that could cause serious injury,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office. “It is imperative that management immediately eliminate workplace hazards to protect its employees.”

Plant officials could not be reached for comment.

Korea-based Koswire draws steel wire that is later used for the production of springs in various products, such as pens and spray cans.

The company has 15 business days from receiving 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.

Last year, Koswire was cited for 19 safety and health violations, following a March accident that killed an employee.

Koswire ended up paying an “informal settlement” of $139,590, said Lindsay Williams of OSHA’s Atlanta office.

According to OSHA, Adam Wingo, 30, died after he became caught in moving wire and was pulled into rotating rolls.


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