Alabama Auto Parts Plant Cited for Lockout/Tagout Failures

OSHA is proposing $192,350 in penalties after an inspection at NTN-Bower Corp.'s manufacturing plant in Hamilton, Ala., revealed 36 safety and health violations. The company, which makes roller bearings, is being cited with one willful and 31 serious violations, while Advanced Technology Services Inc., which provides maintenance support at the facility, is receiving four citations for serious safety violations. OSHA is proposing $172,350 in penalties for NTN-Bower and an additional $20,000 in penalties for Advanced Technology Services.

"The large number of violations revealed by OSHA's inspection of this facility reflects management's failure to properly train its employees to work safely and ensure that company safety policies are followed consistently," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham, Ala. the area office that conducted the inspection.

NTN-Bower's one willful citation, which alone carries a $63,000 penalty, is for not enforcing the company's lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental start-up of machinery. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. The 31 serious violations address inadequacies in training employees, deficiencies in clothing and equipment needed for fighting fires, inadequate and missing machine guards, inadequate labeling of chemicals, and electrical deficiencies.

Advanced Technology Services is being cited for not providing appropriate protective equipment to employees, failing to adequately train employees to fight fires, and not ensuring that employees were capable of firefighting duties. Part of Advanced Technology's contract with NTN-Bower includes responsibility for responding to fires at this location.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest the violations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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