The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $302,000 in fines against Sunfield Inc. in Hebron, Ohio, for alleged violations of federal workplace safety standards including three willful, 21 serious and one repeat.
OSHA's investigation, opened in August 2008, cited Sunfield Inc. for failure to ensure proper procedures were utilized for the control of hazardous energy during press machine maintenance and repairs; machine guarding violations; not providing eye protection or eye flushing stations; improper forklift operations; excessive air pressure for machinery cleaning operations; and improper electrical safety practices. The company also has been cited for a repeat violation for failure to provide required strain relief on flexible cords in the press and die maintenance areas.
Willful citations are issued when there is evidence of the intentional violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act or plain indifference to its requirements. A serious citation is issued 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. A repeat citation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same, or a substantially similar, violation that has become a final order.
"Failing to practice required OSHA safety and health standards is detrimental to the welfare of American workers," said Deborah Zubaty, director of the agency's area office in Columbus, Ohio. "Employee injuries and fatalities can be avoided if employers follow OSHA's regulations and commit to providing a safe workplace for their workers."
Since 1997, Sunfield Inc. has been inspected by OSHA 13 times and has been cited 60 times for safety and health violations. The company employs 100 workers at its Hebron plant and specializes in processing stamped metal parts for automobile companies.
Sunfield Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the latest citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.