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OSHA fines auto parts manufacturer for multiple safety violations

Workplace injuries often result from the failure of employers to install and use appropriate safety mechanisms. In a recent case in Ohio, the United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration fined Milark Industries, Inc., an auto parts manufacturer, $536,249 for a series of safety violations that the agency discovered after an extended investigation of numerous workplace accidents.

OSHA opened the investigation in May 2016 after receiving complaints of safety violations. The agency reviewed the company's injury logs from facilities at Baird Parkway and Rupp Road in Mansfield. The agency concluded that the company committed the following acts:

  • failed to lock out robotic welding cells and tube bender when not in use
  • bypassed safety interlocks on various machines in order to maintain the production rated
  • failed to use safety devices while conducting maintenance activities
  • failed to train workers in safety measures intended to prevent machinery operation during service and maintenance procedures

In addition, the company put pressure on employees to ignore safety procedures, including threats of discipline, in order to meet production quotas. Three violations were deemed to be willfully egregious, one was found to be willful and three were found to be serious.

Injuries to employees ranged from lacerated fingers and hands to a partial amputation of a new employee's two fingers. Milark has been the object of other OSHA safety investigations into serious employee injures; three such cases resulted in the issuance of citations.

Anyone who has suffered a workplace injury may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in such cases. A consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer can provide a helpful evaluation of the facts of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining workers' compensation benefits.

Source: EHS Today, "Lack of Machine Safeguards Leads to Amputation at Milark Industries Inc.," Stefanie Valentic, Oct. 24, 2016

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