The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) released a statement on July 19, saying that it cited Hartwell, Georgia company, Tenneco Automotive Operating, for 16 health and safety violations. OSHA also proposed penalties totaling $79,000.
The global transportation parts manufacturer was accused of 14 serious violations that involved neglecting to protect employees from dangerous chemicals and guaranteeing that workers were removing their clothing and showering after their shifts. Furthermore, OSHA investigators discovered various tripping and falling dangers, insufficient guidelines regarding respirator usage and the failure of Tenneco supervisors to offer free medical surveillance to those showing symptoms of chemical overexposure.
Two other-than-serious infractions purportedly committed by the company involved incorrectly updating OSHA logs and permitting a temporary extension cord to be used as a permanent circuit system.
"Tenneco needs to take proactive steps to halt these safety and health hazards. OSHA will not tolerate employers who fail in their duty to keep their workers safe," William Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office, said according to the agency's website.
Like all companies, Tenneco has 15 days to decide whether it will pay the fines, request a meeting with OSHA area officials or appeal the charges and penalties. As of July 19, it has not released a public statement describing the course of action it will take.
Companies should do all they can to ensure a safe work environment. Failure to adhere to OSHA standards can result in serious accidents and even death. Supervisors looking to ensure compliance with OSHA may want to consider purchasing OSHA software, which can analyze trends in the workplace, schedule inspections and remediate hazards