Personal Injury

Alabama auto parts manufacturer cited for workplace hazards

Korean auto-parts manufacturer Saehaesung Alabama Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for numerous violations at its Andalusia, Alabama, plant. OSHA says the citations, which cover a number of serious and repeat violations and threaten the safety and health of the company’s workers, amount to $179,000.

The violations are serious enough, OSHA says, to qualify the company’s participation in the Severe Violators Enforcement Program, a new OSHA course targeting “employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations” to federal safety regulations intended to protect workers from illness, injury, and death while on the job.

OSHA inspectors first warned Saehaesung Alabama in 2009 to correct violations for failing to provide training and information to employees about the safe use and handling of hazardous chemicals. When the agency returned recently to conduct a follow-up inspection, they found that this violation had not been addressed and proposed fines of $16,500.

During the follow-up inspection, OSHA also cited Saehaesung Alabama for its failure to develop, document, and use procedures to protect workers from energy sources within the plant and for its not providing workers with the proper knowledge and skills to safely use energy control devices. The agency considered these to be willful violations, meaning they displayed an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health, and proposed penalties of $140,000.

OSHA proposed the remaining $22,800 in penalties for four serious violations involving blocked exit routes and flawed equipment. OSHA said the violations posed a “substantial probability” that workers could become injured or killed.

“The company’s repeated failure to comply with OSHA standards has left employees at risk of serious injury or death,” said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA’s area director in Mobile. “These hazards need to be eliminated from the workplace.”