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Ohio auto parts manufacturer fined $1 million

• Mar 22, 2018 at 7:00 PM

HEBRON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that auto parts manufacturer Sunfield Inc. has agreed to a settlement that includes a $1 million penalty, and hiring a safety and health coordinator to resolve safety and health violations found at the company’s Hebron plant.

OSHA investigated the facility in January and February 2016 after two employees suffered severe injuries when they came in contact with moving machine parts. The inspection also found that the company lacked adequate power press guarding, and hazardous energy control procedures that could have prevented the incidents.

“Employers have an obligation under the law to ensure safe and healthy workplaces,” said OSHA’s Chicago-area Regional Administrator Ken Nishiyama Atha. “In addition to paying a $1 million penalty, this company has committed to invest in the safety and health of its employees and work cooperatively with OSHA.”

As part of the settlement, Sunfield also agreed to revise die-change procedures, develop a program for ensuring installed light curtains and interlocks are functioning properly prior to each shift, work with third-party auditors to complete a safety and health audit of its facility, and meet quarterly with OSHA staff to assure implementation of this agreement.

In other news, OSHA has cited Kraft Heinz Foods Company for machine safety violations after an employee suffered a partial finger amputation while clearing a machine jam at the company’s Mason facility. The company faces $109,939 in proposed penalties.

OSHA inspectors determined Kraft Heinz Foods Company failed to: implement energy control procedures to prevent equipment from unintentionally starting; install adequate machine guards and energy isolation devices; and train employees on the use of energy control procedures.

Kraft Heinz had 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.

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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