Sept. 23, 2014
Prattville, Alabama, Fras-le North America cited for repeat
and serious safety and health violations following OSHA inspection
PRATTVILLE, Ala. – Fras-le North America Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 17 safety and health violations following a March 2014 inspection at the manufacturer's Prattville facility. The inspection was initiated as part of the agency's Regional Emphasis Program for Safety Hazards in the Auto Parts Industry*. Proposed penalties total $67,500.
"Our inspection found that employees were exposed to numerous safety and health deficiencies, such as falls, amputations and electrocution hazards, all of which can result in serious injury or death," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "Employers must take responsibility to protect workers and should be proactive in evaluating and correcting workplace hazards before an OSHA inspection."
Two repeat citations, with $18,000 in penalties, were cited for exposing workers to slip, trip and fall hazards and for blocking emergency exits. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited 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. The company was cited for the same violations in 2013 and 2010.
OSHA cited the employer for eight serious violations, with $47,700 in penalties, for failing to protect workers from moving machine parts during servicing or maintenance; not training employees on the skills and knowledge required when conducting machine maintenance and servicing and exposing workers to fall hazards of up to 40 feet by not ensuring employees were using fall protection equipment. Seven additional violations, carrying $1,800 in penalties, include failing to certify OSHA 300 logs prior to posting and not developing a respiratory protection program. 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.
Fras-le is one of the five largest companies in its category and manufactures friction materials for the automotive industry, such as brake linings and pads, clutch discs and other items for industrial machines and the railway and subway sectors. Its operations extend to more than 90 countries on five continents. There are approximately 160 employees at the Prattville plant.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Alabama accounted for 66 of the 4,405 fatal work injuries reported nationally in 2013. Additional details are available at http://www.bls.gov.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
Release Number: 14-1688-ATL (243)
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