Pilkington North America Faces Biggest Fine in Indiana State History
Rob Houglum ZIPGlassNetwork.com Friday, August 24, 2012
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A Shelbyville auto glass factory is facing what may be the biggest fine in state history for office safety violations, state officers say.
Pilkington North America faces $453,000 in proposed fines from the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration for an extensive listing of claimed violations, some of which are repeats of infractions discovered after the demise of a worker at the plant in 2010.
An all-embracing inspection of the factory in March and April by state safety officers found the company exposed staff to uncovered moving machinery parts and live electrical elements, lacked railings to stop falls and badly stored flammables, with other Problems.
This latest round of citations follows $125,000 in fines the agency provided to Pilkington less than a month ago. In all, the company faces more than $600,000 in fines.
"It may be the highest quantity of penalties we've considered to one company in such a brief period of time," recounted Bob Dittmer, a speaker for the agency.
One reason the penalties are so high is that inspectors found repeat violations similar to the ones that contributed to the end of Kelly Dean Caudill, 56, Connersville, a Pilkington upkeep mechanic who died at the factory in September 2010, IOSHA officers expounded. Caudill was repairing a conveyor that moves broken glass when a nearby air cylinder was turned on and crushed him.
After looking into that situation, IOSHA cited Pilkington for failing to provide employees with locks to secure machinery from power sources during maintenance, failing to train and guage staff to make sure they were performing procedures properly, failing to protect employees from rotating parts or places where they may be trapped or crushed, and exposing employees to live electrical elements that should have been covered. The state issued $32,000 in suggested fines in November 2010. The company settled the citation for $15,000 and agreed to correct the Problems.
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