A Georgia tire manufacturer faces more than $500,000 in fines after OSHA reported repeated health and safety hazards.
According to a May 29 news release, employees were exposed to fall risks, burn, amputation, chemical and electroshock hazards.
“This employer exposed workers to multiple safety and health deficiencies that put them at risk for serious or fatal injuries,” OSHA Atlanta-East Area Director William Fulcher said.
The company racked up $507,299 in fines because of several repeat violations. OSHA also added it to the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Severe Violator Enforcement Program
Following a June 2017 inspection, which included various citations, the manufacturer failed to develop a correction plan. Also, it did not submit required abatement documents from that inspection.
Repeat violations carry a higher penalty and can in some cases lead to a shut-down.
Following the findings from the November follow-up inspection, OSHA placed the tire-making company into its “Severe Violator Enforcement Program.”
The program prioritizes inspection employers who have “demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations.”
Only $90,500 of the $507,299 penalty the company received was for first-time violations.
Each violation holds a maximum penalty of $13,260, whereas the fine for each repeated and willful violation has a maximum of $132,598.
Kumho’s repeat violations include exposing employees to:
▪ Deep pits containing moving equipment and no guardrails.
▪ Hazards “associated with the release of hazardous energy or unexpected start up of equipment and machinery.”
▪ Hot surfaces and points of operation, movement or rotation.
▪ Caught-in hazards while “performing tasks including but not limited to grabbing, feeding and removing rubber and cutting samples, which required them to reach into the danger area.”
New violations include: Failure to have an emergency eyewash/shower station and not marking or labeling bottles of hazardous material.
Responding to OSHA Inspections
Following an inspection, employers should act quickly and work with OSHA to make permanent changes to their jobsite.
This company, in particular, has until June 19 to respond to the findings.
With 400 employees and the ability to produce 4 million tires a year, it’s the largest manufacturing plant in Macon, Ga.
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