Safety Fines at Parts Maker

Monday, April 9, 2012 @ 03:04 PM gHale


Auto parts maker, Sanoh America Inc., is facing fines of $83,000 for 13 violations, including one repeat, for exposing workers to fire hazards, dangerous fumes and other safety hazards at the company’s Findlay, OH, plant, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

After receiving a complaint, OSHA conducted an inspection Oct. 4 and found the facility’s plating line had caught fire during production earlier in the year. OSHA cited the repeat violation for failing to develop, document and utilize procedures to control potentially hazardous energy in relation to the incident. No one suffered an injury in the incident. A repeat violation exists when OSHA previously cited an employer for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other within the last five years. OSHA found similar violations in 2009 at the company’s Mount Vernon facility.

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Twelve serious violations involve failing to install energy-isolating devices where needed, isolate energy sources, conduct periodic inspections, develop and implement safety-related work practices, provide necessary personal protective equipment and periodically test electrical protective equipment, and provide a heat-actuated, shut-off device on a paint pumping system. 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 the company 10 times since 1990, resulting in various citations for failing to provide machine guarding and personal protective equipment as well as to implement and utilize lockout/tagout procedures.

“Sanoh America is responsible for ensuring that its employees are properly protected from fire and inhalation hazards associated with painting and plastics processes, and ensuring procedures are in place to control hazardous energy,” said Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo.

Sanoh America employs 700 workers and makes automotive parts such as brake tubes, fuel tubes and brazed products at plants in Findlay and Mount Vernon, Ohio; Scottsboro, AL; Carthage, MS; and in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada.



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