US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Findlay, Ohio-based Sanoh America
with 13 safety violations for exposing workers to fire, other hazards
FINDLAY, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited auto parts manufacturer Sanoh America Inc. with 13 violations, including one repeat, for exposing workers to fire hazards, dangerous fumes and other safety hazards at the company's Findlay plant. Proposed penalties total $83,000.
An Oct. 4, 2011, inspection – initiated based on a complaint – determined that 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 injuries were reported. 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 other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in 2009 at the company's Mount Vernon facility.
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.
The company has been inspected by OSHA 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. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."
Sanoh America, which employs about 700 workers, manufactures automotive parts such as brake tubes, fuel tubes and brazed products at plants in Findlay and Mount Vernon, Ohio; Scottsboro, Ala.; Carthage, Miss.; and the Canadian city of Orangeville, Ontario. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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 Toledo Area Office at 419-259-7542.
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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.