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Macon plant fined $138,600 for violations | News

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Macon plant fined $138,600 for violations
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A federal agency plans to fine Macon's Nichiha USA factory $138,600 this week for repeated safety violations.

That's according to a news release from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

They say a September 2013 inspection found four repeat violations and three serious violations.

OSHA says the plant is failing to protect workers by ensuring that machinery is carefully locked out and de-energized before workers perform maintenance and cleaning.

The plant has been inspected six times since 2009 and received citations in five of those inspections, the news release states.

The company has been placed in OSHA's severe-violated enforcement program, which focuses on employers "who have demonstrated indifference to their legal obligations by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate" violations.

The company has 15 days to comply, request a meeting with OSHA or contest its findings.

Nichiha manufactures fiber-cement products and employs about 192 people at its Macon plant on Avondale Mill Road.

According to OSHA: "The repeat violations, with $117,810 in penalties, include failing to provide workers with training to understand the purpose and function of the energy control program when performing servicing and maintenance on equipment, and not using a group lockout procedure for each worker to prevent equipment start-up. Additionally, the employer did not include all confined spaces in its workplace evaluation and failed to utilize a specific written energy control procedure for an area where employees were required to clean debris."


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