US Department of Labor's OSHA cites auto parts supplier TFO Tech
for exposing workers to amputation hazards at Jeffersonville, Ohio, facility
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited TFO Tech Co. Ltd with 13 safety violations at the company's auto parts manufacturing facility in Jeffersonville. The violations include a lack of machine guarding and allowing workers to perform maintenance on machinery without first isolating the equipment's energy source. OSHA opened an inspection in July under the agency's National Emphasis Program on Amputations after receiving a complaint alleging hazards. Proposed fines total $51,000.
"TFO Tech has a responsibility to ensure that employees are properly protected from known workplace hazards ¿ such as machinery becoming unintentionally energized during maintenance ¿ that can result in amputations and other serious injuries," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."
Twelve serious violations involve a lack of guarding for the points of operation on automated mechanical forging presses, not having machine-specific lockout/tagout procedures, a damaged metal guard on a conveyor, inadequate strain relief and insulation for electrical cords, a lack of periodic inspections, unguarded floor openings, failing to train workers, and failing to lock out the energy sources of machinery during servicing and maintenance. 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.
One other-than-serious violation is failing to evaluate forklift operator performance at least once every three years. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
This is OSHA's sixth inspection of the company; the last inspection was conducted in June 2003 and resulted in a citation for a serious violation involving a lack of machine guarding.
TFO Tech is based in Toyko, Japan, and employs about 140 workers at its Ohio facility. 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 Cincinnati Area Office at 513-841-4132.
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.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.