Repeat Safety Violations at Auto Parts Maker

Monday, February 9, 2015 @ 10:02 AM gHale

During an inspection of an automobile parts manufacturer, federal inspectors found permanent and temporary employees faced electrocution, having their hands and limbs disabled or amputated by moving machine parts, and dangerous falls while working at the SCA Inc. facility in Auburn, AL, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

SCA manufactures auto parts, such as blowers, heaters and evaporators for Hyundai, Kia and Ford Motor Co.

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OSHA inspected the plant in October as part of its Regional Emphasis Program for Safety Hazards in the Auto Parts Industry and cited SCA Inc. and Liberty Staffing LLC for 21 safety violations. Liberty Staffing, of Auburn, provides 115 employees to SCA. Proposed penalties for the two companies total $158,020.

“Host employers, as well as the temporary staffing agencies, have the responsibility to protect their employees from being exposed to hazards in the workplace and should not wait for an OSHA inspection to identify safety and health deficiencies,” said Joseph Roesler, OSHA’s area director in Mobile.

OSHA issued four repeat citations to SCA for exposing workers to falls up to approximately 10 feet while working from a platform without a ladder access gate or chain guard and failing to reduce the compressed air for cleaning to 30 pounds per square inch. SCA also received repeated citations for not having standard railings installed on open-sided floors or platforms and exposing workers to shock from live electrical parts. Liberty Staffing received serious citations for these same two violations.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously received citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. SCA received citations for these same hazards in 2010 and 2011.

SCA and Liberty Staffing each received serious citations for allowing workers to operate the injection molding machine without protection; not securing gas cylinders to prevent them from being knocked over; and failing to provide a functional eye and body wash station. SCA also received citations for exposing employees to accidental machine startup from potential stored energy while servicing or conducting maintenance activities. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

OSHA has inspected SCA four times previously since 2008. The company received citations for machine guarding, hazardous energy, guarding floor and wall openings and fall hazards. Liberty Staffing has no prior OSHA inspection history.

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