Formed Fiber Technologies Fined $816,500 for Providing False Abatement Documentation

The company was previously cited by OSHA in October 2013.

Formed Fiber Technologies LLC has been issued 14 safety violations after providing false documentation and making false representations claiming that previously cited hazards related to hydraulic presses had been corrected. Those citations include willful and repeat citations, as well as a notice of failure to abate, with proposed fines totaling $816,500.

The plant is located in Sidney, Ohio, and produces motor vehicle interior trimmings for automotive manufacturers, including Toyota and General Motors. It was issued one failure to abate, nine willful, and four repeat safety violations for continuously exposing employees to amputations and other hazards.

"Formed Fiber Technologies apparently decided that production was more important than ensuring its workers' safety. They provided false abatement documentation to OSHA. They knew how hazardous these machines were without proper safeguards and also knew exactly how to fix those hazards," said Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels in the statement. "OSHA will not tolerate such blatant disregard for worker safety."

In OSHA's January follow-up, investigators found that abatement documentation from Formed Fiber in December 2013 was false and that employees had been exposed to unguarded machines and unsafe maintenance procedures well after the employer's abatement claims.

Nine willful citations were issued for failing to prevent the start up of multiple hydraulic thermoforming presses, laminator machines, and robot cells while workers were performing set-up, service, and maintenance inside the machines. The company also failed to develop proper lockout/tagout procedures and encouraged workers to use unsafe methods to stop machines for maintenance

Four repeat violations were issued citing the company for failing to train workers on how to properly stop machines before service and maintenance, which continuously exposed machine operators to lacerations, amputation, burns, and having parts of the machine strike or crush them. The company failed to have identifying information on devices to indicate hazards.

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