Inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that full-time and temporary employees at auto-parts manufacturer Pyongsan America Inc. were in danger of being caught in machinery, hit by objects and amputation at the company’s facility in Auburn, Ala. Pyongsan manufactures heating, ventilation and air conditioning hoses for Hyundai, Kia, Chrysler and General Motors.
OSHA initiated the inspection in January and cited Pyongsan and Surge Staffing LLC for 11 safety violations. Surge Staffing, also based in Auburn, provides approximately 50 temporary employees to Pyongsan. Combined, the companies face $106,020 in penalties.
“Pyongsan America continues to put workers, both permanent and temporary, at risk of serious injury or death by exposing them to serious workplace hazards,” said Joseph Roesler, OSHA’s area director in Mobile. “Employers must take responsibility for worker safety every day. They shouldn’t wait until an OSHA inspection or worse, when someone is hurt, to evaluate and correct workplace deficiencies.”
OSHA issued four repeated citations to Pyongsan for its failure to:
- Develop and implement proper procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance or servicing.
- Conduct periodic inspections of the energy control procedures for equipment with multiple energy sources.
- Train employees performing work on hazardous energy sources.
- Protect workers from crushing and amputation hazards due to improper machine guarding.
The agency also issued two serious citations to Surge for failing to train employees and protect them from crushing and amputation hazards.
In addition, OSHA cited Pyongsan for two serious violations for not requiring workers to de-energize equipment when changing out parts on machinery and exposing employees to amputation hazards due to ineffective machine guarding on the mechanical power presses. Inspector also issued one serious citation to Surge for this same machine-guarding hazard.
The agency also cited Pyongsan with failing to provide copies of OSHA’s injury and illness log to Surge Staffing employees who had recordable injuries while working at the facility within the required four hours. Another violation was for not inspecting and testing the mechanical power presses at least weekly to determine its operational condition.
Finally, OSHA is considering placing Pyongsan in its Severe Violators Enforcement Program, which focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.