Repeated violations costs auto parts maker; Staffing agency cited, too

Companies facing more than $106K in penalties

Posted July 26, 2016

During a month-long inspection of an Auburn, Michigan, auto parts manufacturing plant, OSHA inspectors found that permanent and temporary employees faced the dangers of being caught in machinery, hit by objects, and the risk of amputation. The facility manufactures heating, ventilation, and air conditioning hoses for a number of major automobile manufacturers.

OSHA initiated the inspection in January 2016 as part of its Regional Emphasis Program on Safety Hazards in the Auto Parts Industry. As a result of the inspection, OSHA cited both the auto parts manufacturer, as well as the staffing agency providing the temporary workers. Combined, the companies face $106,020 in penalties.

"[The auto parts manufacturer] continues to put workers, both permanent and temporary, at risk of serious injury or death by exposing them to serious workplace hazards," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "Employers must take responsibility for worker safety every day. They shouldn't wait until an OSHA inspection or worse, when someone is hurt, to evaluate and correct workplace deficiencies."

OSHA issued four repeated citations to the auto parts manufacturer for its failure to:

  • Develop and implement proper procedures to prevent machinery from starting during maintenance or servicing.
  • Conduct periodic inspections of the energy control procedures for equipment with multiple energy sources.
  • Train employees performing work on hazardous energy sources.
  • Protect workers from crushing and amputation hazards due to improper machine guarding.

The agency also issued two serious citations to the staffing agency for failing to train employees and protect them from crushing and amputation hazards.

In addition, OSHA cited the auto parts manufacturer for two serious violations for not requiring workers to de-energize equipment when changing out parts on machinery and exposing employees to amputation hazards due to ineffective machine guarding on the mechanical power presses. The inspector also issued one serious citation to the staffing agency for this same machine-guarding hazard.

The agency also cited the auto parts manufacturer with two other-than-serious violations for failure to provide copies of OSHA's 300 injury and illness log within four business hours for temporary employees who had recordable injuries while working at the facility. The other violation was for not inspecting and testing the mechanical power presses at least weekly to determine its operational condition.

OSHA is considering placing the auto parts manufacturer in its Severe Violators Enforcement Program. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.


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