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Employ, Endanger, Repeat: Georgia Automotive Plant with Dangerous History Cited for 27 Violations

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OSHA has cited automotive exhaust manufacturer Tenneco Automotive Operating Co. Inc for a whopping 27 safety and health violations at its Hartwell, Georgia facility.  Eight of the citations were for repeat violations.

Tenneco faces $242,550 in penalties and has been placed in the agency’s severe violator enforcement program for “demonstrating indifference to its OSH Act obligations to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees.”

The 27 citations against Tenneco include:

…exposing workers to slip and fall hazards due to soiled and slippery welding oils on floors; failing to protect workers from moving machine parts during service and maintenance; neglecting to protect employees from dangerous equipment with required guarding; and storing oxygen and acetylene cylinders improperly.

According to Staffing Industry, the these are repeat offenses of violations from 2010, 2012 and 2013. More on the nature of the law-breaking:

OSHA also cited Tenneco for 16 “serious” violations, with $93,400 in penalties, for an inoperable stop pull cord used for emergencies and exposing workers to struck-by and crushing hazards. The company failed to ensure emergency exit signs were installed and operational and to affix equipment to the floor, which exposed workers to fire. Three other violations included failure to label hazardous materials properly, workers using designed safety locks inappropriately and not standardizing safety locks.

Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East area office, said:

“The high number of repeat violations of the same or similar hazards demonstrates that this employer is not concerned with protecting its permanent or temporary employees from occupational dangers.  Fixing a hazard once, but allowing it to creep back into the workplace, shows that management has priorities other than running an effective safety and health program.”

OSHA also cited staffing agency Elite Logistics Services for one serious safety violation for failure to remove its employees from exposure to unguarded pallet tippers.  The staffing company provided 110 temporary workers to the facility.  The violation carries a penalty of $6,300.

The companies will have 15 days to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


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