AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - An Auburn auto parts maker and two staffing agencies are facing fines after being cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, for workplace violations.
Donghee Alabama LLC and two staffing agencies, identified as J & C Enterprise LLC and Jian Enterprise LLC, are accused of exposing employees to safety hazards at the Auburn plant on Innovation Drive.
Donghee, a South Korean based company, makes vehicle fuel tanks for the automotive industry, including for Alabama-built Hyundais and Georgia-built Kias .
OSHA said in a June 12 report that Donghee Alabama is “willfully exposing employees to caught-in and crushed-by hazards by requiring them to operate machines with non-functioning safety laser scanners.” The scanners are designed to prevent employees from putting their bodies inside dangerous zones while the machines are in operation.
The violations were deemed “serious” and “willful," according to OSHA’s reports. In one incident, said to have happened on Jan. 23, OSHA wrote that an employee “was allowed to be inside the Blow Mold Machine #1 production cell while it was in automatic operation. The employee was not safely positioned and was struck-by the machine.”
Donghee’s violations totaled more than $135,000 in penalties.
The two staffing agencies were cited for “exposing their workers to hazards from operating machines with non-functioning light curtains and laser safety scanners.”
Collectively, the three companies face penalties of $145,438. They have 15 days to comply or contest OSHA’s findings.
“Hazards associated with the auto parts manufacturing industry are a source of serious injuries and fatalities to workers,” said OSHA Acting Area Director Jose Gonzalez, in Mobile. “Employers are required by law to comply with lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards to protect workers who operate equipment.”