Indiana Auto Glass Plant Accumulates More IOSHA Fines
January 30, 2013

by Casey Neeley, and Kaitlan Mitchell

An Indiana auto glass plant continues to undergo scrutiny from the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA).

Following an inspection taking place October 23 through November 30, 2012, IOSHA issued two safety orders about Pilkington North America's Shelbyville plant.

According to the citation issued, Safety Order 1, Item 1 reads, "The employer did not establish and maintain condition of work which were reasonably safe and healthful for employees, and free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees in that employees were exposed to potentially/broken bones and/or death due to employees not being protected from inadvertent start/restart of the robot or robot system when they are inside the safeguard space."

The charge, labeled serious, must be abated by January 31, 2013, and carries a $7,000 penalty.
Safety Order 1, Item 2 and Safety Order 1, Item 3 read similarly, carrying the same abatement date and proposed penalties. Item 2 specifically states that on the Toyota Camry line, the "employer did not protect employees from crushing hazards" by following machinery instructions. Item 3 notes that "Authorized employees who are required to perform set-up and/maintenance operations use safety interlocks to lock-out the equipment they are working on."

Safety Order 2, Item 1 states that maintenance technicians were not properly evaluated on procedures pertaining to job tasks. Additionally, Safety Order 2, Item 2a notes that authorized maintenance technicians and operators on the Camry line did not receive adequate training to "ensure employees understood the purpose and function of the lock-out/tag-out program." Safety Order 2, Item 2b continues, reading, "Maintenance techs and operators who are required to lock-out equipment when performing maintenance or set up of equipment did not receive training in recognizing hazardous energy sources that require lock-out, the types of and the magnitudes of energy sources available in the workplace and the methods and means for the isolation and control of the equipment."

Safety Order 2, Item 3 also notes that "Maintenance techs and operators had not been trained in the purpose and the use of all energy control procedures involved for locking out industrial robot systems."

Each of the Safety Order 2 citations has an abatement date of January 31, 2013, as well as a proposed penalty of $70,000.
The investigation was spurred following an employee injury at the plant in October after a young man was trapped in a press.

Pilkington issued a statement following that incident saying, "Although the plant is equipped with proper safety equipment and warning safeguards including in this instance a properly functioning safety laser scanner, this is an unfortunate reminder that all of us need to continually focus on safety and the safety programs the NSG Group stresses in our workplace."

The Shelbyville plant also was recently charged with multiple IOSHA violations and fines as a result of investigations stemming from an October 2010 accident in which employee Kelly Caudill died from injuries received while working at the plant. Similar to this most recent injury, the deceased employee was injured while trapped in machinery.

IOSHA spokesperson Robert Dittmer says Pilkington has appealed the latest safety order to the Indiana Board of Safety Review.
"The previous two Safety Orders have also been appealed. Those two have been consolidated into one hearing now scheduled for June 10-14, 2013," adds Dittmer.

Pilkington officials had not yet responded to requests for comment at press time.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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