U.S. Department of Labor Cites Georgia Auto Parts Distributor For Fire, Electric Shock, and Struck-By Hazards

December 12, 2018

NORCROSS, GA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Parts Authority LLC – a wholesale auto and truck parts distributor based in Norcross, Georgia – for exposing employees to fire, electrical shock, and struck-by hazards. The company faces $133,406 in penalties.

OSHA cited Parts Authority LLC – doing business as Parts Authority Georgia LLC – for exposing employees to smoke and fire hazards by allowing obstructed and unlit exit signs; struck-by hazards from damaged storage rack supports and shelves; and failing to train employees to recognize chemical hazards, and maintain safety data sheets on chemical hazards.

“The inspection found multiple safety deficiencies that put employees at risk of serious and fatal injuries,” said OSHA Atlanta Area Office Director William Fulcher. “Potential workplace hazards must be assessed and eliminated to ensure employees are afforded a safe work environment.”

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.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

OFF-TOPIC: California considers taxing text messages

A California’s utilities agency is considering charging mobile phone users a fee for sending text messages. The wireless industry argues added fees would put carriers at a higher disadvantage since messaging services would not be charged under the proposed legislation. USA Today [with video]

Massachusetts tree worker fatally injured

A 38-year-old man who was cutting a tree in Amherst, Massachusetts Tuesday morning died from injuries he suffered when a part of the tree struck him. Fed-OSHA is investigating. Daily Hampshire Gazette

Contractor that employed fatally injured worker has been cited in the past

The utility installation company that employed a 61-year-old man who died at a construction site in Scituate, Massachusetts on Friday when a bulldozer backed over him has been fined in the past for workplace safety violations, including one connected to a serious injury, according to Fed-OSHA, which is investigating. Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass.)

Record Number of Companies Departing California – Study Urges More to Leave

PITTSBURGH (PRWEB) DECEMBER 11, 2018

A new study by Spectrum Location Solutions reveals that more than 13,000 companies have left California for friendlier locations and that nearly $77 billion in capital has been diverted to other states and nations. New laws are tougher on businesses than in any other state.

California’s business climate has deteriorated to the point that a consultant who specializes in helping companies find new locations is now – for the first time in his career – openly urging businesses to relocate out of state.

The recommendation comes in an update to studies about companies departing California for business-friendly states. It found that 1,800 relocation or “disinvestment events” occurred in 2016 (the most recent year available), setting a record yearly high going back to 2008 – and that about 13,000 companies left the state during that nine-year period.

“Departures are understandable when year after year CEOs nationwide surveyed by Chief Executive Magazine have declared California the worst state in which to do business,” said Joseph Vranich, President of Spectrum Location Solutions LLC and study author.

“The top reason to leave the state no longer is high taxes,” he said. “The legal climate has become so difficult that companies should consider locating in jurisdictions where they will be treated fairly.

In California, a “tipping point” has been reached with a new statute that puts businesses in a “lose-lose” situation no matter how hard a company tries to operate in a legal manner.

The new Immigrant Worker Protection Act states that an employer that follows Federal immigration law is now violating California law, is committing a crime, and is subject to fines. However, it’s also a crime if employer fails to follow Federal immigration law.

“Think about it. California may penalize someone in business who is a legal citizen operating a legal business that is in compliance with every Federal, state and local law, who pays state and local taxes, and who creates employment – and all that can count for nothing in the state’s eyes,” said Vranich.

“For years the American Tort Reform Foundation said California is among the nation’s worst ‘Judicial Hellholes’ for businesses, a label I’m confident will persevere considering the nature of this new law alone,” Vranich said.

“The fact that the law deals with immigration is irrelevant because it makes us wonder what comes next. Why impose insufferable legal penalties only for immigration? Elected officials are capable of enacting more laws that only they could imagine – such as arresting a factory manager for cooperating with a Federal OSHA inspector or fining a movie producer who spoke with Federal EEOC officials,” Vranich said. “Where does this stop?”

The study is brimming with information including naming the companies that departed, describing the locations they left and places they went to, and relaying what CEOs have said about their decisions.

Three previous California Governors – Gray Davis, Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian – cited findings from an earlier version of Vranich’s work when expressing concerns about companies shifting their operations out of state.

The study found that the ten states benefitting most from California’s losses are Texas – it has held the first-place distinction for at least a decade – followed by Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon and Washington tied for fifth place, then North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Virginia.

The top ten municipalities gaining migration from California are Austin at No. 1, followed by Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Seattle, Dallas, Portland (Oregon), Denver, San Antonio and Scottsdale. Even cities unfairly disparaged for being in “flyover” country are successful in attracting California companies, with Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis and Nashville among the top twenty.

Foreign nations have successfully recruited California companies with Mexico being No. 1, followed by India, China, Canada, Philippines, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan and Taiwan tied for tenth place.

The ten California counties losing the most businesses were Los Angeles in the top spot, followed by Orange, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Diego, Alameda, San Mateo, Ventura, San Bernardino and Sacramento.

More headquarters leave California than any other type of facility and more manufacturers than any other industry.

During the study period, $76.7 billion in capital funds were diverted out of California along with 275,000 jobs – and companies acquired at least 133 million sq. ft. elsewhere – all of which are greatly understated because such information often went unreported.

The report addresses the state’s 40 years of hostility toward businesses, high utility and labor costs, punitive regulations, worrisome housing affordability for employees, signs that workers plan to depart California, and how the state lags behind other states in acquiring facilities that are being reshored from overseas.

Joe Vranich is a site selection consultant providing location advisory services to corporations and small businesses. In recent years he has discussed California’s business environment with more than 100 economic development agencies located in North America and Europe.

Man fatally overcome by mower fumes at New Jersey condo

A 26-year-old man man was killed and another worker was injured in Washington Township, New Jersey on Tuesday when they were overcome by fumes from a running lawnmower in a condominium complex. Fed-OSHA is investigating. NorthJersey [with video]

Indianapolis airport worker’s death ruled accidental

Indiana OSHA is investigating the death of an 80-year-old worker from multiple blunt force traumatic injuries at Indianapolis International Airport Friday morning. FedEx had not provided any details about the fatal accident as of Monday. Indianapolis Star [with video]

IOSH investigating death of manufacturing plant employee

A 46-year-old Wisconsin man died Thursday following a work-related accident at a Dubuque, Iowa manufacturer of water works brass, plumbing valves, pumps and water systems, and high-pressure gas valves and meter bars, when he reportedly became trapped in equipment. IOSH is investigating. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Pipeline construction accident near Pittsburgh injures two

Two pipeline workers were injured in a construction accident on a pipeline about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh late Sunday. The workers, one male and one female, were pulling a piece of equipment through a section of the pipeline under a road when the equipment, called a “pig,” struck them, according to Fed-OSHA, which is investigating. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection suspended the construction for 30 days last year because of repeated permit violations, including dozens of drilling mud spills, and fined its developer $12.6 million. WITF (Harrisburg, Pa.)