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An automotive manufacturing plant was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for violating worker safety laws. According to OSHA, Mahle Engine Components USA Inc. plant in McConnelsville, Ohio was given 26 health and safety violations and faced fines totaling $369,000.
Eight of the 26 violations were repeat offenses and included worker exposure to electrical, lead and machine guarding hazards, according to OSHA. The company had also failed to properly train employees on safely working with hazardous materials.
"Employers cited for multiple safety and health violations have a responsibility to review their safety and health procedures, evaluate the hazards that exist and train workers to ensure a safe and healthful working environment," said Nick Walters, OSHA's regional director in Chicago. "When an employer, such as Mahle, is cited for repeat violations, it shows a lack of commitment to protecting the safety and health of workers. OSHA will not tolerate such negligence."
Repeat violations by Mahle include failure to mount and identify fire extinguishers and ensure safe work practices for workers exposed to electrical hazards as well as other safety violations, for example. The facility also repeated health violations involving employee lead exposure, OSHA's report said.
The company was cited for 18 serious violations, which means employees were susceptible to increased risks of death or serious physical harm that Mahle was aware of or should have known existed, according to OSHA.
Company can offer response to OSHA
Mahle will have 15 business days to appeal the violations or pay the fine.
"We will be responding to OSHA to address the alleged violations called out in the citation," said Martyn Hempston, president of Mahle, told the Zanesville Times Recorder. "Mahle shares OSHA's mission to prevent work related injuries and illnesses and we are taking these allegations very seriously."
The Times Recorder said the company has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The program requires follow-up inspections in order to monitor the company's compliance of protecting workers.
The plant was previously inspected in 2009 and 2010 when it received 17 total violations.
Protecting worker safety is a responsibility of employers. Heat detectors and other safety equipment can prevent worker injury and alert employees of potentially hazardous conditions.
Industrial Safety News brought to you by Safety Systems Technology, Inc., leaders in fire and gas detection systems.