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Fatal accident at manufacturing plant leads to investigation

An employee of Autoneum, a manufacturing company that produces sound and heating systems for General Motors and Ford, was killed from what authorities now say was blunt-force trauma. The county coroner and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are conducting ongoing investigations into the circumstances surrounding the employee's death.

This was not the company's first safety violation or death of a worker in the course of employment. Earlier this year, a worker at the company's Florida location fell 50 feet off a ladder to his death. Autoneum has also been cited for OSHA violations 33 times prior to this incident and has a record of workers having limbs amputated due to its machinery.

Three incidents of amputation have occurred at its Toledo, Ohio plant alone. In January of this year, a worker at the Toledo location had his hand and forearm amputated after getting his arm caught in a scrap metal shredder. The company was fined $569,463 by OSHA but has not paid the fine and contests all the violations.

OSHA asserts that the company is guilty of willful offenses - ones in which they committed with plain indifference to the law, and repeat violations which show that it did nothing to correct the unsafe conditions for which it was cited in the past.

Workers on the Jeffersonville location's Facebook page revealed that they worked long hours with no breaks for seven days a week in the summer heat. A worker from a nearby plant is also speaking out regarding the exploitation of these workers who are forced to work in unsafe conditions and the resulting work-related accidents and deaths that could have been prevented.

The company has started an internal investigation into the fatal workplace accident and plans to work with authorities, according to a statement released by an Autoneum representative. The company states that it is in compliance with OSHA regulations and is committed to maintaining high standards.

Source: courier-journal.com, "Woman killed in Jeffersonville factory accident identified," Oct. 23, 2017

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