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Regulators fine GD Copper for workplace safety violations

Federal inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have fined a Pine Hill-area copper plant $196,900 for workplace safety violations. OSHA inspectors listed over 12 safety violations made by the plant, GD Copper USA, which exposed plant workers to high levels of risk that included shock hazards, unguarded safety equipment and fall risks.

In incident reviewed by OSHA, inspectors found that workers had been using a platform that was suspended 14 feet over a concrete floor but did not have a standard handrail to prevent falls. Five of the violations cited by OSHA were corrected by plant officials while the inspections were taking place.

OSHA's Mobile, Alabama, director commented on the inspections saying that numerous safety hazards were found at GD Copper, which put GD Copper employees under a high level of risk of injury and death. The director further said that GD Copper needs to be more diligent at identifying and correcting hazards.

GD Copper builds precision copper parts for use in air conditioners and appliances. The company employs approximately 390 workers. In addition to the above-referenced violations, OSHA said that GD Copper employees risked amputation hazards, and getting shocked by defective and badly connected equipment.

When an Alabama worker is catastrophically hurt on the job, the worker and his or her family will suffer to make financial ends meet -- not only to pay for the worker's medical care, but also to pay for living costs while the worker is recovering and unable to earn a living. This is where workers' compensation becomes a vital lifeline of financial support. Seriously injured Alabama workers have a financial safety net available to them through our state's workers' compensation system, which provides money to pay for medical care and wage replacement after a serious workplace injury.

Source: Montgomery Advertiser, "GD Copper fined $197K for 'serious safety hazards'," Brian Lyman, Aug. 10, 2016

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