Shelbyville Plant Investigated by OSHA Following Employee Injury
October 24, 2012

by Casey Neeley,

Pilkington North America Inc.'s Shelbyville, Ind., auto glass plant is facing scrutiny from the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) following an employee injury which occurred Monday morning.

According to local reports from Shelbyville News, a man working at the plant was injured around 11:30 a.m. Monday morning when he was trapped in a press.

In a statement issued by Pilkington, officials say, "The employee was immediately attended to by first responders and the occupational nurse, then treated and stabilized by the local fire department before being transported to the hospital for further evaluation and care."

Though the man's identity has not been confirmed, Shelbyville News reports that he is believed to be a "young man from the Flat Rock area." As of Tuesday morning he was listed in critical condition at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

"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," said Skip Vermilya, regional director of automotive OE for Pilkington, in the statement.

"I can confirm that we were notified of the accident in a timely manner and have initiated an IOSHA investigation of the incident," says IOSHA spokesperson Bob Dittmer. "Regarding this current investigation, IOSHA has 180 days to complete investigations, but they are usually completed in two-to-three months on average."

The Shelbyville plant 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.

Pilkington is currently contesting those violations.

"[This investigation] will not affect existing Safety Orders, or the penalties assessed in them," adds Dittmer. "The company has appealed those Safety Orders to the Board of Safety Review. That process can take six months or more."

In a previous statement issued by Pilkington regarding the 2010 accident and resulting investigation, company officials said, "The NSG Group has always strived to maintain the highest standards and expectations when it comes to the safety of our workers. We share a common goal with IOSHA, with the United Steelworkers and with our workforce, to provide a safe workplace for all our employees. The company will continue to work cooperatively and proactively with our employees and with IOSHA in this regard."

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