OSHA has added Kumho Tire Georgia Inc. to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) and is seeking $507,299 in penalties for repeat and serious violations. The agency cited Kumho and its two contractors with 22 workplace safety and health violations.
OSHA made a follow-up inspection of the tire manufacturer because the agency never received abatement documents from a June 2017 inspection. The agency cited Kumho for 12 serious and 8 repeat violations and 1 other-than-serious violation.
Employers included in the SVEP are subject to mandatory follow-up inspections and increased agency pressure to abate cited hazards.
The agency also cited J-Brothers Inc. and proposed $7,503 in penalties. OSHA also is seeking $9,093 in proposed penalties from Sae Joong Mold Inc.
OSHA cited Kumho for repeat violations of the electrical systems, fall protection, lockout/tagout, and machine guarding standards. The alleged violations include:
- Failing to cover an 11-inch-deep, 32-inch-long, and 19-inch-wide pit, exposing employees to fall hazards;
- Not developing, documenting, and utilizing procedures for the control of hazardous energy;
- Failing to provide lockout/tagout training to ensure employees understand the purpose and function of a hazardous energy control program;
- Not installing machine guarding on machinery at eight separate points in the facility;
- Improperly installing pressure-sensitive body bars intended to protect employees from caught-in hazards;
- Failing to cover rotating shaft couplings with safety sleeves to protect employees from amputation and caught-in hazards; and
- Not installing or using electrical equipment in accordance with instructions included in its labeling or listing.
OSHA previously cited Kumho for the same violations on June 6, 2017. Penalties for the repeat violations total $416,752.
The agency also cited Kumho for serious violations of the fall protection, hazard communication, lockout/tagout, and powered industrial trucks standards, as well as the medical services and first-aid standard. The alleged serious violations include:
- Exposing employees to fall hazards in excess of 6 feet on a walking-working surface without any guardrail, safety net, or personal fall-arrest system;
- Exposing employees maintaining or servicing equipment to amputation, caught-in, or struck-by hazards;
- Failing to clearly outline lockout/tagout procedures for shutting down, isolating, blocking, and securing equipment or machines;
- Lacking specific instructions for testing and verifying the effectiveness of lockout devices, tagout devices, or other energy control;
- Not providing employees with locks, tags, chains, wedges, key blocks, adapter pins, self-locking fasteners, or other hardware for blocking, insolating, or securing equipment and machines;
- Failing to ensure locks used for lockout indicate the identity of the employee applying the device;
- Failing to perform a complete inspection and review of energy control procedures for approximately 60 machines at the facility;
- Not providing a first-aid eyewash or shower station in a work area where employees could be exposed to potassium hydroxide;
- Failing to ensure industrial powered truck operators are properly trained and evaluated;
- Failing to ensure containers of hazardous chemicals are properly labeled;
- Not providing information and training to employees about the hazardous chemicals used in their work areas; and
- Not informing employees of the availability and location of safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals used at the facility.
The agency also cited Kumho with an other-than-serious violation for allegedly failing to retrain a forklift operator.
OSHA cited J-Brothers Inc. for exposing employees to smoke inhalation and burn hazards by failing to mount portable fire extinguishers and failing to perform annual maintenance on the fire extinguishers. The agency cited Sae Joong Mold Inc. for electrical hazards and for using damaged slings.
Employers can take away two lessons from OSHA’s recent enforcement action:
- Contractors can be cited for safety and health violations at a host employer’s facility.
- Once a final order is issued, an employer must pay the penalties and abate the hazards cited in affirmed or uncontested violations and provide the agency with evidence of the hazard abatement.