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$656K OSHA fine for Georgia auto parts manufacturer

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited auto parts manufacturer HP Pelzer Automotive Systems Inc. and its staffing provider following an inspection of HP Pelzer’s facility in Thomson, Ga., OSHA announced Monday.

Combined, the fines are more than $700,000. HP Pelzer faces $654,726 in penalties and Sizemore faces $49,884 in penalties.

OSHA inspected the facility in March and issued 24 safety violation citations. Sizemore had approximately 300 temporary employees assigned to HP Pelzer at the time of the inspection. In May, the Augusta-based staffing agency terminated its contract for reasons including safety concerns for its employees, according to the Department of Labor.

HP Pelzer employs approximately 10,000 workers across nine facilities in the US and Mexico. The Thomson, Ga., facility manufacturers car panels, dashboards and insulation products.

OSHA issued 12 repeated citations to HP Pelzer for its failure to:

Develop, implement and utilize written procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance or servicing.

The agency also cited HP Pelzer for eight serious violations for exposing workers to fall hazards, not providing electrical protective equipment and failing to train workers about electrical hazards related to their activities.

Staffing provider Sizemore was cited for exposing workers to fall hazards, not providing training on hazardous energy sources, and exposing employees to amputation, laceration and electrical live parts.

Employers must ensure they provide safe and healthy working conditions — at all times — and not just during or immediately following an OSHA onsite inspection,” said William Fulcher, OSHA’s area director in the Atlanta-East office. “This is the third inspection of the HP Pelzer plant where OSHA has identified numerous hazards, many repeated, related to unsafe working conditions. Employees, whether permanent or temporary, should not have to be concerned whether they will get sick, injured or killed while providing for their families. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe and healthful workplace.” Each company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to respond.

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