Thomson, Ga. — The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed penalties totaling $129,336 against HP Pelzer Systems Automotive Inc., a Thomson-based manufacturer of auto acoustic components made from polyurethane foam, thermoplastics, composites and other materials.
OSHA cited HP Pelzer because of an employee who suffered a severed fingertip on the job, according to a Jan. 30 agency news release. The worker was removing a gear box motor from an energized scissor lift on Aug. 3 when the lift rotated unexpectedly, OSHA said.
HP Pelzer did not train the employee to recognize hazardous energy sources or perform proper lockout/tagout of those sources, OSHA said in its citation.
The Thomson plant's energy control procedures did not outline the steps for shutting down, isolating, blocking and security hazardous equipment, according to the citation.
There also was no procedure to offer employees protection equivalent to that of lockout/tagout, the agency said.
OSHA gave HP Pelzer until Feb. 14 to comply with the order, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citation before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, OSHA said.
This is the third time OSHA has cited the Thomson facility of HP Pelzer for safety violations, according to the agency.
In February 2014, OSHA cited HP Pelzer and a staffing agency, Augusta, Ga.-based Sizemore Inc., for 22 safety and health violations, assessing penalties totaling $207,100.
Also, in September 2016, OSHA found 24 safety and health violations against HP Pelzer and Sizemore, with penalties amounting to $704,610.
According to OSHA, Sizemore terminated its staffing contract with HP Pelzer in May 2016, out of concern for the safety of the temporary workers it provided the manufacturer. At the time, Sizemore provided some 300 temporary workers to the Thomson plant, the agency said.
Officials of the HP Pelzer Thomson plant have not yet responded to a request for comments.