Georgia Auto Maker Fined $342,250 for 27 Workplace Safety Violations

Posted on Dec 20, 2014

Tenneco Automotive Operating Co. Inc, a manufacturer of automotive exhaust systems and components, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for 27 workplace safety violations at its plant in Hartwell, Georgia, and has been fined a total of $342,250. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a workplace accident in Atlanta, Marietta, or elsewhere in Georgia, contact our knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak today for legal help. Our law firm is located in Atlanta, and our attorneys have years of experience protecting the rights of injured workers throughout the state of Georgia.

Auto Maker Added to OSHA’s “Severe Violator” Program

According to OSHA, Tenneco was fined $242,550 for eight “repeat” work safety violations, including exposing workers to slip and fall hazards due to slippery welding oils on floors; failing to protect employees from dangerous equipment with required guarding; neglecting to protect workers from moving machine parts during service and maintenance; and failing to properly store oxygen and acetylene cylinders. The company was cited for these same violations in 2010, 2012 and 2013, and as a result of the citations, Tenneco was placed in OSHA’s severe violator enforcement program, which includes companies that demonstrate an indifference to their obligations to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees.

GA Employer Failed to Protect Workers from Hazards

“The high number of repeat violations of the same or similar hazards demonstrates that this employer is not concerned with protecting its permanent or temporary employees from occupational dangers,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East area office. “Fixing a hazard once, but allowing it to creep back into the workplace, shows that management has priorities other than running an effective safety and health program.” In addition to the repeat violations, OSHA also cited Tenneco for 16 “serious” work safety violations, totaling $93,400 in fines, for failing to ensure emergency exit signs were installed and operational; exposing workers to struck-by and crush hazards; and failing to properly label hazardous materials, among other issues.

Contact Our Workers’ Comp Attorneys for Help

Staffing agency Elite Logistic Service Inc., which provided Tenneco with temporary employees at its Hartwell plant, was also cited for one serious safety and health violation. According to OSHA, the company employs approximately ten temporary workers at the Tenneco facility in Georgia, and was cited for failure to remove its employees from exposure to unguarded pallet tippers. Unfortunately, serious workplace injuries and fatalities are a major problem in Georgia, and in 2012 alone, 101 workers were killed in on-the-job accidents throughout Georgia. If you have been injured in a GA work-related accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal job-site accident, consult our reputable workers’ compensation lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak to discuss your legal options.

Jaret A. Spevak
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Atlanta Attorney with Over 20 Years Experience