Auto Body Manufacturing Plant Cited for Hazardous Violations

Auto Body Manufacturing Plant Cited for Hazardous Violations

The Shyft Group faces fines for not addressing employees' complaints about serious hazards.

Reports of fall and noise hazards were continuously ignored for a Waterville auto body manufacturing plant in Augusta, Maine after repeatedly informing management until OSHA intervened. The administration opened an inspection on October 1, 2020 in response to a complaint, according to a press release.

Now, the Shyft Group Duramag LLC, or FR MFG Inc. faces $393,992 in fines for not addressing these hazards that placed employees at risk. OSHA cited the plant for two willful as well as 10 serious violations.

"Our inspectors found plant employees without fall protection working atop truck bodies and others exposed to excess noise levels while steam cleaning," said OSHA Area Director David McGuan in Augusta, Maine. "Management's knowledge of these hazards and their failure to correct them led us to cite these conditions as willful violations."

OSHA issued citations for serious violations stemming from the manufacturing plant’s failure to:

  • Provide adequate training to employees to guard them against struck-by and crushing hazards from homemade attachments used on auto lifts
  • Guard machinery to avoid improper contact with operating parts
  • Conduct hazard assessments to determine which PPE is required for employees
  • Provide appropriate protective goggles for workers near welding areas that lack noncombustible or flameproof screens or shields
  • Establish a PPE respiratory protection program and medically evaluate an employee’s ability to wear certain gear
  • Securely anchor machines from moving
  • Refrain from using flexible cords or cables as a substitute for fixed electrical wiring and electrical openings

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply and request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings to the Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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