The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $1,326,367 to Dowa THT America Inc.—a metal heat treatment company based in Bowling Green, Ohio—after the company exposed employees to atmospheric, thermal, electrical, and mechanical hazards as they performed maintenance inside heat-treating furnaces. In addition to the penalties, OSHA placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
OSHA cited the company for 25 willful, serious, and other-than-serious violations for hazards related to confined spaces, falls, machine guarding, respiratory protection, chemical exposures, and electrical equipment. The company also failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment, and train their employees on hazards in the facility.
“The violations identified exposed employees to serious, and potentially life-threatening injuries and illnesses,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “Employers have a legal obligation to assess their workplaces for hazards, and establish appropriate safety and health programs to protect their workers.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.