Tenneco Automotive Operating Co. Placed in Severe Violator Enforcement Program

A temporary staffing agency was also cited following the inspection.

Tenneco Automotive Operating Co. was cited by OSHA for 27 safety and health violations following a May 2014 inspection at the Hartwell, Ga., plant, according to a report. Elite Logistic Service Inc., a staffing agency that provided temporary employees to Tenneco at the Hartwell plant, was also cited for one serious safety violation. OSHA initiated the inspection after receiving a complaint alleging improper material handling and machine guarding hazards. Proposed penalties total $342,250.

Tenneco has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program for demonstrating indifference to its OSH Act obligations to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees. Tenneco is a global transportation components manufacturer with more than 80 facilities on six continents and corporate offices in Lake Forest, Illinois.

"The high number of repeat violations of the same or similar hazards demonstrates that this employer is not concerned with protecting its permanent or temporary employees from occupational dangers," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Fixing a hazard once, but allowing it to creep back into the workplace, shows that management has priorities other than running an effective safety and health program."

Tenneco was cited for eight repeat violations, carrying $242,550 in penalties. The violations involve exposing workers to slip and fall hazards due to soiled and slippery welding oils on floors; failing to protect workers from moving machine parts during service and maintenance; neglecting to protect employees from dangerous equipment with required guarding; and storing oxygen and acetylene cylinders improperly.

OSHA also cited Tenneco for 16 serious violations, with $93,400 in penalties, for an inoperable stop pull cord used for emergencies and exposing workers to struck-by and crushing hazards. The company failed to ensure emergency exit signs were installed and operational and to affix equipment to the floor, which exposed workers to fire.

Three other violations included failure to label hazardous materials properly, workers using designed safety locks inappropriately and not standardizing safety locks.

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