Carolina Skiff fined for safety and health violations

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Carolina Skiff was cited for 19 safety and health violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The citations, carrying fines of $95,240, were issued after OSHA conducted a follow-up inspection to evaluate the abatement of violations found during a 2008 site-specific targeting program inspection.

OSHA issued Carolina Skiff six repeat citations that call for $45,740 in fines. Four violations are related to safety, including using compressed air and unapproved electrical equipment in areas where the dust concentrations are high enough to lead to a fire or deflagration hazard; failing to clean up dust accumulations; and a lack of exit signs, resulting in emergency escape hazards.

Two violations are related to health, including failing to train welders regarding hexavalent chromium hazards and not implementing engineering controls to reduce high noise levels.

The agency also issued Carolina Skiff 10 serious citations that call for $48,510 in fines. Some of the safety-related violations include exposing employees to fall hazards; improperly storing and transferring flammable liquids used during spray-painting operations; using compressed air greater than 30 pounds per square inch for cleaning; and an improperly installed electrical service system, resulting in an electrical hazard.

Three violations are health-related, including failing to provide a hearing conservation program, exposing workers to airborne styrene that exceeded the permissible exposure limit, and not providing suitable protective clothing and gloves for employees whose skin was exposed to resin that contained styrene.

"Carolina Skiff continues to leave its employees at risk of serious injury or illness by failing to implement the proper safety and health protections," said Robert Vazzi, OSHA area director in Savannah, Ga., in a statement.

The company also received three other-than-serious health citations that call for $990 in proposed penalties for not posting the OSHA noise standard in the workplace, failing to ensure that respirator face pieces had adequate seals and not conducting additional air samples for hexavalent chromium when stainless steel production increased.

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.

A woman answering the phone at Carolina Skiff this morning said no one there at this time was able to comment.

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