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April 23, 2024
Ohio manufacturer facing $314K OSHA fine

Faurecia Emissions Control Systems NA LLC, a Franklin, Ohio, automotive components supplier, faces $314,555 in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines after a 26-year-old employee was fatally crushed, the agency announced April 16.

The employer exposed machine operators to struck-by and caught-between hazards, according to OSHA. Investigators determined that the employer failed to include detailed steps for lockout/tagout procedures, test its safety procedures annually, and guard machines adequately. The agency issued 10 instance-by-instance citations after finding the company didn’t properly train employees, including temporary workers under the company’s control, on lockout/tagout procedures. OSHA also issued a machine guarding violation.

The agency cited the company in 2022 for similar violations at the same location. Faurecia Emissions Control Systems is 1 of 29 facilities operated by Faurecia North America to manufacture automotive components in the United States.

“Faurecia Emissions Control Systems could have prevented this tragedy by having proper machine guarding that would have protected employees from contact with moving machine parts,” Ken Montgomery, OSHA’s Cincinnati area office director, said in a statement. “Safety requirements are just that, required. This company failed in its legal responsibility to ensure workers were protected from workplace hazards.”

“Safety must never be an afterthought,” Montgomery added. “Safety has to be a core company value, especially in the manufacturing industry.”

Faurecia Emissions Control Systems NA LLC is part of Faurecia North America, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, according to OSHA. In 2022, Faurecia and Hella combined to form Forvia, one of the world’s top 10 largest automotive suppliers, with more than 150,000 workers in more than 40 countries.

OSHA has opened nearly 1,700 inspections in Ohio since 2019 related to machine hazards.

Last fall, OSHA announced that its lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards were among the top 10 most cited in fiscal year (FY) 2023. The general industry lockout/tagout standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1910.147) was the sixth most cited standard; the agency cited 2,554 violations in FY 2023, which ended September 30. The machine guarding standard (§1910.212) was the tenth most cited; OSHA cited 1,644 violations in FY 2023.

Workers’ Memorial Day events

On April 17, OSHA announced a weeklong slate of events from April 22 to 25 in recognition of Workers Memorial on April 28. The annual memorial recognizes workers who lost their lives on the job.

In 2022, a reported 5,486 workers suffered fatal injuries—an increase of 296 worker deaths from 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). Work-related injuries in the United States claim about 15 people’s lives a day, according to OSHA.

“As we honor our fallen workers on Workers Memorial Day, we must remember that behind each workplace fatality there are loved ones enduring unimaginable grief,” Doug Parker, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said in an agency statement. “It is for the lost workers and those left behind that we continue to fight for every worker’s right to a safe working environment. Our mission at OSHA is to ensure that when someone leaves for work, they know they’ll come home safe at the end of the day to the arms of their families and loved ones.”

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