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Sunfield Nets a Staggering $3.4M Fine for 100+ OSHA Citations

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Hebron, OH – Sunfield, Inc has been issued as many as 118 OSHA citations for machine hazards found at their Hebron (OH) manufacturing plant. These citations total $3.4 million in fines for the Japanese-owned auto manufacturer and constitute one of the largest OSHA penalties ever filed against a company in the automotive parts industry. Many of the violations were deemed to be egregious willful, willful, repeated, and serious.

The $3.4M fine is the result of Sunfield’s failure tocitations osha lockout disconnect machinery from a power supply, failure to prevent sudden movement before maintenance and service, and failure to train workers in operating machine presses safely – all items included in industry-standard lockout-tagout planning, training, and de-energization procedures.

Many accidents have been reported at the Hebron facility as a result of Sunfield’s failure to implement robust lockout-tagout procedures. OSHA investigators inspected the Hebron plant after reports of two injuries earlier this year: In February, an employee’s arm was crushed and amputated; and a temporary employee suffered a fractured elbow in January. OSHA reported that the Hebron facility has an extensive history of federal safety violations, dating back 20 years. For example, a worker’s fingers were severed in 2011, and a employee fractured his leg after being pinned under a coil of rolled steel in 2000.

Sunfield has been placed the company in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program for their consistent failure to address safety hazards. Most of the violations involve lack of machine safety procedures which expose workers to amputation, lacerations and other injuries. OSHA found that the company did not take the necessary steps to protect its workers from being injured by moving machine parts. The agency also found multiple electrical safety violations including lack of personal protective equipment, workers exposed to live electrical parts, and use of damaged equipment.

Sunfield supplies parts for several major Japanese and domestic automakers. Sunfield began production in Hebron in June 1994, has a daily workforce of about 175. The Hebron site is the only U.S. plant. The parent company, Ikeda Manufacturing Company LTD. is headquartered in Ota-City, Gunma, Japan.

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