Workers exposed to hazardous chemicals at GA recycling plant, feds say. Facility cited

Jens Meyer/AP
·2 min read

A recycling facility in Georgia is facing a six-figure penalty after an investigation found that workers were exposed to hazardous chemicals, federal authorities said.

It’s the third time since 2019 that TAV Holdings Inc. in Atlanta received a health and safety violation citation, the U.S. Department of Labor said in a June 22 news release.

After the Occupational Safety and Health Administration completed the investigation, it found that the facility had three repeat and 28 serious safety and health violations, according to the release.

Now, TAV Holdings faces a penalty of $311,934, the release said.

McClatchy News was unable to reach TAV Holdings Inc. for comment.

In addition to not warning workers about the risk of the hazardous chemicals, which officials did not identify in the release, the company had specific violations including, according to the Department of Labor:

  • Failure to “install a fall protection system around unprotected sides of a pit.”

  • Failure to “keep exit routes unobstructed, and post signs along obscured exits to show the correct routes.”

  • Failure to “specify techniques to isolate energy sources on machines within the energy control procedures.”

  • Failure to “train employees on hazardous energy sources for equipment.”

  • Failure to “provide guarding on rotating parts and ingoing nip and pinch points on a drill press and conveyer.”

  • Failure to “mark electrical panel circuits to indicate their purpose and enclose an electrical control panel.”

  • Failure to “provide audiometric testing or annual training on hazards associated with high noise levels, and provide hearing protection to some employees.”

  • Failure to “conduct annual training on the use of respirators and fit tests for employees.”

Officials also found that a metal fabrication contractor at the site failed to train employees on safety when operating forklifts, teach how to properly anchor a bench grinder, guard a lathe machine and improperly used extension cords to run equipment, the release said.

The contractor, XL MachineWorks LLC, faces $11,188 in fines, according to the release.

McClatchy News reached out to XL Machineworks LLC for comment and was awaiting a response.

The investigation of the recycling plant began after federal authorities received a referral from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the release said.

“TAV Holdings Inc.’s repeated disregard for workers’ safety is inexcusable, especially after our previous investigations identified the serious risks involved,” OSHA Area Office Director Jeffery Stawowy said in the release. “They have a legal obligation to provide their employees with a safe and healthful workplace.”

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