Ford Plant Faces Fines After Electrical Accident

Severe burning of employee leads to proposed penalties against Ford Motor Co. plant in Hamburg, N.Y.

An investigation following an accident Sept. 15 has resulted in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citing Ford Motor Co. of Hamburg, N.Y., for violating OSHA standards.

Penalties of $57,125 are proposed against the company for one alleged repeat violation and seven alleged serious violations. According to OSHA area director David Boyce, the action results from an investigation begun following an accident in which an employee was severely burned by an arc blast when a tool she was using contacted live electrical parts.

Ford was cited for failing to require employees to wear nonconductive head protection when working near live electrical parts, an alleged repeat violation carrying a proposed penalty of $25,000. Ford was previously cited for this condition in Brook Park, Ohio, in October 1998.

The alleged serious violations include:

  • Failing to de-energize live electrical parts before working on or near them;
  • Failing to lockout de-energized parts before working on them;
  • Failing to have proper lockout procedures for electrical work;
  • Failing to require employees to wear protective clothing, gloves and face protection when working on or near electrical parts;
  • Failing to provide sufficient work space in front of electrical equipment; and
  • Failing to certify that a hazard assessment had been conducted.

The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $32,125.

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