Auto Parts Manufacturer Cited After 13 Fires in Two Years

Auto Parts Manufacturer Cited After 13 Fires in Two Years

The company faces one willful and nine serious violations.

OSHA recently cited an automotive parts manufacturer after one of the locations in Ohio had 13 fires in two years.

According to a news release, a Clayton, Ohio location of Woodbridge Englewood Inc., operating as Hematite Inc., used a flammable material to make plastic for auto parts. The polyethylene material “is easily ignited, even by static, and difficult to suppress or put out when a fire occurs,” per the news release.

The 13 fires occurred between June 2020 and June 2022. Hematite was cited for exposing workers to fire hazards and not providing training on “initial stage fire identification” and not teaching workers how to use fire extinguishers, according to the news release. The company faces one willful and nine serious violations. OSHA also proposed $271,403 in penalties.

“Our inspectors found Hematite’s management preferred that workers combat fires with extinguishers, lessening repair costs and production time, rather than allowing sprinklers to activate. This practice endangered workers,” explained OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery in Cincinnati in the news release. “The company must immediately review its emergency action plans and the process for storing and handling flammable materials. Incorporating training and protective measures will help minimize fires and protect workers on the job.”

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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