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Region 5 News Release V-263
June 12, 2003
Contact: Brad Mitchell
To Address Common Workplace Safety Hazards
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- In the wake of a December accident, in which a worker nearly lost a hand, Cooper Standard Automotive's facility at 150th St., Cleveland, is facing citations and $155,500 in proposed fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Alleged violations of safety standards include failure to protect workers from workplace hazards such as accidentally energized vertical plastic injection mold presses with the potential to amputate hands and fingers.
OSHA began its investigation of the automotive product manufacturer after the agency received a complaint alleging that an employee was injured while operating a plastic injection mold machine that was not properly guarded. The employee sustained injuries requiring surgery to a nearly amputated hand. As a result of the investigation, OSHA cited the business for machine guarding and energy lockout/tagout deficiencies as well as for failure to provide safety training, and other electrical hazards.
"Companies that use presses and similar power equipment know full well the risk to workers these machines can pose," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "OSHA's first commitment is to protect workers from tragic workplace accidents. We stand ready to assist employers to make their workplaces safe, but we will fully enforce standards when we must."
Cooper employs more than 23,000 workers at 55 manufacturing facilities in 13 countries. Cooper Standard Automotive was established in 1937 and is part of the North American Sealing Systems Division of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company headquartered in Finley, Ohio. Cooper has two plants in Cleveland, on 150th Street and 110th Street. Cooper began operations at the 150th Street facility in August 2002.
According to OSHA Acting Area Director Rob Medlock, Cleveland, the company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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