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Region 4 News Release:    07-1937-ATL (001)
Dec. 28, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua     Michael Wald
Phone: (404) 562-2078     (404) 562-2076

Fitzgerald, Ga., manufacturer facing over $71,000 in penalties after inspection by U.S. Department of Labors OSHA

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The U.S. Department of Labors Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has levied 12 safety violations with $71,750 in proposed penalties against Modern Dispersions South Inc.s Fitzgerald, Ga., manufacturing facility.

In June of this year, four of the companys 130 employees were hospitalized after a fire occurred while employees attempted to unclog a machine of carbon black powder and polyethylene pellets.

OSHA inspectors issued one willful safety violation with a $49,000 proposed penalty for the companys failure to use lockout/tagout control procedures when employees attempted to clear jammed machines. A willful violation is one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

Management must put the safety of people first and ahead of its need to maintain production schedules, said John J. Deifer, OSHAs area director in Savannah.

The company was also cited for 10 serious violations with $19,250 in proposed penalties and one other-than-serious violation with a proposed penalty of $3,500. The other-than-serious violation was for the employers failure to