OSHA Fines N.Y. Automotive Parts Plant; Lack of Proper Injury Recordkeeping Cited

May 20, 2005

A Lockport, New York automotive parts manufacturer’s reported failure to keep proper records of hundreds of workplace injuries and illnesses has resulted in $42,000 in proposed penalties from the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Delphi Thermal & Interior was cited for six alleged serious and other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards at its 200 Upper Mountain Rd. plant following an OSHA inspection begun Nov. 17, 2004, in response to a complaint about improper recordkeeping.

OSHA’s inspection identified 117 instances of unrecorded injuries or illnesses that resulted in days away from work or restricted duty for workers; 20 instances of unrecorded standard threshold shifts in employees’ hearing; and 153 instances where injuries and illnesses were either not recorded at all or not recorded within seven days, as required.

Among the unrecorded conditions were work-related sprains, strains, fractures, tendonitis, neck, shoulder, knee and back injuries. The inspection also found that 129 employees exposed to high noise levels did not receive a required annual audiogram and required training on noise hazards.

“These are not simple ‘paperwork’ violations,” said Art Dube, OSHA’s Buffalo area director. “Widespread failure to properly record occupational illnesses and injuries is hazardous to workers. The lack of accurate data can mask patterns of injuries and illnesses that could help uncover conditions that can harm workers.”

Delphi Thermal & Interior has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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