Ohio Manufacturing Facility Cited for Unsafe Conditions; Fined $119K

April 1, 2021

A Ohio manufacturer of power distribution products has been cited for 11 serious workplace safety violations and faces $119,000 in penalties, federal workplace safety officials said.

In response to a January 2021 complaint, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated Schneider Electric’s Oxford, Ohio, production facility and found machine operators and maintenance employees entered powder-coating ovens routinely without testing atmospheric conditions or securing natural gas lines and operating machine parts.

According to OSHA, these workers were exposed to dangerous asphyxiation hazards and the potential for serious injuries or worse.

Schneider Electric manufactures large busways used for power distribution. OSHA determined Schneider Electric exposed workers to multiple safety and health hazards by failing to designate the ovens as permit-required confined spaces that require specific safety procedures before entry.

The employer also failed to isolate natural gas lines and mechanical energy – a process known as lockout/tagout – to the ovens during maintenance procedures.

OSHA cited the company for 11 serious violations of health and safety standards.

OSHA also found the company:

  • Did not have an adequate respiratory protection program – including fit training and medical surveillance – for employees required to wear respirators when working with the dust collectors.
  • Failed to train employees on the hazards of the powder coat used on the products.
  • Allowed epoxy powder coat to accumulate on surfaces exposing workers to methyl imidazole, a potential skin, eye and lung irritant.
  • Exposed employees working on top of the ovens to fall hazards of up to 20 feet, by failing to provide fall protection.
  • Lacked employee training on safety and health hazards in the facility and required safety procedures.

Based in Andover, Massachusetts, Schneider Electric United States employs more than 150,000 workers nationwide and 250 at the Oxford facility.

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

Source: OSHA

Topics Ohio Manufacturing

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