Sunfield Inc., an Ohio auto parts plant, is facing $3.4 million in fines from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for serious workplace safety violations that exposed workers to metal press hazards.
In January, OSHA inspectors responded to a workplace acciden
t where a temp worker sustained a fractured elbow and multiple lacerations after removing scrap metal from a blanking press. As it turns out, Sunfield failed to inspect and maintain safety light curtains, which caused the worker’s injuries. Approximately a month later, a part-time employee had part of his arm surgically amputated due to severe crush injuries he sustained while removing scrap from a robotic press line. OSHA inspectors found the machine that caused the crush injuries did not have the proper safeguards to prevent workers from coming into contact with moving machine parts.
OSHA Placed Sunfield Inc. in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program
In total, OSHA found 57 safety violations, 46 of which were “egregious willful” citations, two willful citations, one repeat citation and eight citations for serious safety violations, which is a near record for companies in the auto parts industry.
According to OSHA’s statement, Sunfield failed to protect workers from moving parts and did not prevent machines from starting while workers were performing maintenance. Additionally, Sunfield failed to provide proper safety guards, locking devices and other safety gear that prevents workers from coming into contact with moving parts.
Worse still, this facility has a history of federal safety violations that goes back 20 years. In total, the company has 118 citations, including serious, willful and repeated violations. Sunfield’s lack of compliance with OSHA’s safety standards in this situation is inexcusable and the company needs to make some serious changes to keep its workers safe.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC is a workers’ compensation law firm that fights for victims injured on the job in the Zanesville, Shadyside, Newark and Columbus areas of Ohio.