Auto Parts Manufacturer, Temp Agency Fined

HP Pelzer Automotive Systems Inc. and Sizemore Inc., a staffing agency, face a total of $704,610 in penalties in an case following an inspection of a plant in Thomson, Ga.

OSHA announced it has fined both HP Pelzer Automotive Systems Inc. and Sizemore Inc., a staffing agency, after conducting an inspection at a Thomson, Ga., facility as part of the OSHA Regional Emphasis Program on Safety Hazards in the Auto Parts Industry. The two companies face a total of $704,610 in penalties in this case.

The agency's news release said that federal safety inspectors "often find that permanent and temporary employees in the auto parts industry face common workplace dangers such as falls, amputations and electrocution hazards – a trend U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found continues at a Thomson manufacturer of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat-Chrysler, Subaru and General Motors parts."

The inspection was made in March 2016 based on a complaint and as part of the Regional Emphasis Program. Sizemore had approximately 300 temporary employees assigned to HP Pelzer at the time of the inspection; according to OSHA, in May 2016, the Augusta-based agency terminated its contract for reasons that include safety concerns for its employees.

"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."

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

  • Develop, implement, and use written procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance or servicing.
  • Conduct periodic inspections of the energy control procedures at least annually.
  • Train employees performing work on hazardous energy sources.
  • Protect employees from thermal skin burns due to contact with hot metallic surfaces.
  • Ensure the repair or replacement of electrical equipment for safe operational condition.
  • Protect workers from laceration and amputation hazards due to unguarded machine parts.

OSHA also cited HP Pelzer for eight serious violations.

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