VALDOSTA — Employees at Sam Wright faced the dangers of electrocution, amputation and unsafe forklift usage at work at the Valdosta, Georgia-based pallet manufacturer, according to a finding by the U.S. Department of Labor.

As part of its continued oversight of the company, its prior safety failures, and complaints received, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors returned in July 2014 and identified 10 safety violations with proposed penalties of $47,080.

 “This company continues to not take the safety of its workers seriously. The fact that we are still finding previously identified hazards is evidence of this,” said Robert Vazzi director of OSHA’s Savannah Area Office. “It is a shame that workers can’t rely on their management to provide a safe and healthful workplace that is free from recognized hazards.”

Sam Wright, which does business as Sam Wright Pallets, was cited for five repeat violations for exposing workers to amputation hazards from unguarded machine parts; electrocution from improperly wired equipment and allowing forklifts to be used with broken safety equipment. 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. Sam Wright was previously cited for similar violations in March 2011 at this facility.

Additionally, the pallet manufacturer was cited for five serious safety violations for failing to train forklift operators; not keeping walking paths free from debris; and failing to provide guards for machine parts in operation. 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.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission. OSHA issued the company the citations on Jan. 7.

For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.          

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