Safety and OSHA News

Repeat violations add up: Company faces $654K in OSHA fines

Getting fined by OSHA once is bad enough. Get caught violating the same regulations again, and the fines just get more expensive. This company learned that the hard way.

HP Pelzer Automotive Systems Inc. faces $654,726 in fines following an OSHA inspection at its Thomson, GA, plant. Sizemore Inc., the staffing agency that had provided 300 temporary employees to the plant, also received $49,884 in OSHA fines for four serious violations from the same inspection.

Acting on a complaint, OSHA found 12 repeat and 8 serious violations against HP Pelzer for failure to:

  • develop, implement and use written procedures to prevent machinery from starting during maintenance
  • conduct periodic inspections of the energy control procedures, at least annually
  • train employees performing work on hazardous energy sources
  • protect employees from thermal skin burns due to contact with hot metallic surfaces
  • ensure the repair or replacement of electrical equipment for safe operational condition
  • protect workers from laceration and amputation hazards due to unguarded machine parts
  • protect workers from fall hazards
  • provide electrical protective equipment, and
  • train employees about electrical hazards related to their work.

This was the third OSHA inspection at the HP Pelzer plant.

Sizemore was fined for:

  • exposing workers to fall hazards,
  • not providing training on hazardous energy sources
  • exposing workers to amputation and laceration hazards, and
  • exposing workers to electrical live parts.

OSHA placed HP Pelzer in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Under the program, OSHA can inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations. HP Pelzer has nine facilities in the U.S. and Mexico, employing 10,000 workers.

In May 2016, Sizemore terminated its contract with HP Pelzer because of safety concerns for its employees.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the violations to comply, request a conference with OSHA, or appeal to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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