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Region 5 News Release: 12-559-CHI
April 5, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:       312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $151,300 in fines to Ohio-based
American Showa for lack of personal protective gear, electrical hazards training

BLANCHESTER, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited American Showa Inc. with 13 safety and health violations – including two willful violations for assigning maintenance personnel to work on energized equipment without personal protective gear and failing to train workers to recognize unsafe electrical work practices. Proposed fines total $151,300.

OSHA initially opened an inspection of the company's automotive parts manufacturing facility in Blanchester on Nov. 6, 2011, under the agency's National Emphasis Program for Amputations, and then expanded it to a joint safety and health inspection to examine the facility's aluminum die-casting operations.

"American Showa is responsible for ensuring that its employees wear personal protective equipment and receive proper training on electrical safety hazards to prevent injuries in its manufacturing plant," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

Specifically, the willful safety violations are failing to train workers on safe electrical working practices for voltage testing and the use of required personal protective equipment. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Seven serious safety violations involve failing to provide adequate machine guarding, ensure that workers locked out all energy sources while making repairs ins