Fuyao Glass America is responding to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new enforcement action.
OSHA Monday proposed an initial fine of $724,380 for “exposing employees to multiple safety and health hazards.” Fuyao has the right to contest that penalty to an independent commission.
“Fuyao is grateful to the investigators for their hard work over four months to identify safety issues, over half of which we have already addressed,” the Moraine auto glass manufacturer said in a statement emailed to the Dayton Daily News early Tuesday. “Now in our third year of full-scale operation, we remain laser focused on the safety of our associates and the quality of our products.”
The company said that since 2017 it has has doubled the size of an Environment Health and Safety department and has developed a “comprehensive safety management system.”
“A safety committee consisting of employees and managers enables two-way communication to assist in the pursuit of absolute safety,” the manufacturer also said.
The company has a 24-hour medical clinic at its sprawling plant off West Stroop Road. The company says also that it has steadily reduced its recordable injury rate, which it says is 30 percent less than the industry average.
Said Jeff Liu, president and chief executive of Fuyao North America: “Nothing is more important than the safety of our team. Our mission is to make Fuyao the world’s best auto glass manufacturing company in all aspects. With this mission in mind, we continue to improve our operations and closely cooperate with OSHA.”
In an emailed statement, the OSHA regional office in Chicago said Fuyao has cooperated with investigators. The fine is the largest OSHA has imposed in 12 inspections of the company.
In a release Monday, OSHA singled out what it called “nine repeated and 13 serious violations,” including exposing employees to electrical safety issues; failing to evaluate workplaces to determine permit-required confined spaces; training employees on lockout/tag out and entering confined spaces; machine guarding; hearing and fall protection and other issues.
The Moraine plant is the world’s largest automotive glass factory, and it has faced OSHA penalties before.
In November 2016, OSHA proposed $226,937 in penalties, saying it found “multiple machine safety violations which expose workers to amputation and other serious injuries.”
Nearly, two years later, OSHA proposed a $7,000 fine in the March 2018 death of a worker at the plant.
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