Glass Maker Faces Repeat Safety Issues

Monday, November 14, 2016 @ 04:11 PM gHale

Workers began making multiple complaints of unsafe working conditions at the Fuyao Glass America Inc. facility in Moraine, OH, not long after it opened in October last year.

Those complaints led to eight separate federal inspections and $226,937 in proposed penalties for the automotive glass supplier to brands such as Audi, Cadillac, Land Rover, Volvo and Volkswagen, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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OSHA inspections found multiple machine safety violations which expose workers to amputation and other serious injuries, as well as a lack of personal protective equipment, electrical hazards, failing to train workers about hazardous chemicals in use and unmarked exits.

In total, OSHA issued citations for 23 serious safety violations and one other-than-serious violation.

“Fuyao Glass America needs to protect its workers. Period,” said Ken Montgomery, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “Since Fuyao began operations in October 2015, we have received multiple complaints and conducted eight inspections at the facility. We found safety and health violations in six of them. OSHA will remain vigilant until this rapidly expanding company protects its workers from serious safety hazards by making needed improvements to equipment, procedures and training. Providing jobs in a community should not come at the expense of workers’ safety and health.”

Most recently, OSHA cited the company for 11 serious safety violations carrying proposed penalties of $131,836 on Nov. 2, following two inspections opened in May. The inspections found workers exposed to operating parts of machinery because Fuyao failed to implement energy control procedures and install adequate machine guarding, electrical safety violations and unmarked exits.

Fuyao has contested all the following OSHA violations issued this year:
• On Oct. 6, the agency issued four serious and one other-than-serious violation to the company for lack of personal protective equipment, failing to guard live electrical wires to prevent contact by employees, and improper use of electrical cords. OSHA proposed total penalties of $48,101 for the violations found in two separate inspections.
• On July 27, OSHA issued three serious citations for lack of exit signs, lighting and exit height and failing to implement an alarm system. OSHA proposed penalties of $21,000.
• On July 14, the company received three serious violations of OSHA’s hazards communication standards, which govern the use of chemicals in the workplace, as a result of an April 12, 2016 inspection. The agency proposed penalties of $12,000.
• On April 11, 2016, the agency issued two serious violations with proposed penalties of $14,000 for lack of machine guarding and not securing floor openings.

Fuyao America Glass employs over 2,000 workers at the Moraine site. The company also operates facilities in Mt. Zion, Illinois; Lake Orion, Michigan; and Greenville, South Carolina.

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