Safety fines for auto parts maker

TFO Tech Co. Ltd is being fined $51,000 by OSHA for 13 safety violations at its Jefferson, OH, facility after a July inspection was carried out under the National Emphasis Program on Amputations.


ISS SourceTFO Tech Co. Ltd is facing $51,000 in fines for 13 safety violations at the company’s auto parts manufacturing facility in Jeffersonville, OH, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The violations include a lack of machine guarding and allowing workers to perform maintenance on machinery without first isolating the equipment’s energy source. OSHA opened an inspection in July under the agency’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations after receiving a complaint. Japan-based TFO Tech employs 140 workers at its Ohio facility.

“TFO Tech has a responsibility to ensure that employees are properly protected from known workplace hazards – such as machinery becoming unintentionally energized during maintenance – that can result in amputations and other serious injuries,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati.

Twelve serious violations involve a lack of guarding for the points of operation on automated mechanical forging presses, not having machine-specific lockout/tagout procedures, a damaged metal guard on a conveyor, inadequate strain relief and insulation for electrical cords, a lack of periodic inspections, unguarded floor openings, failing to train workers, and failing to lock out the energy sources of machinery during servicing and maintenance. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

One other-than-serious violation is failing to evaluate forklift operator performance at least once every three years. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

This is OSHA’s sixth inspection of the company; the last inspection occurred in June 2003 and resulted in a citation for a serious violation involving a lack of machine guarding.

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