MACON, Ga. — The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued fines totaling $523,895 to Kumho Tire Georgia Inc. and two other companies for alleged safety violations at Kumho's tire plant in Macon.
Kumho was cited for 22 alleged violations — 12 serious, nine repeat and one other-than-serious — and fined an aggregate of $507,299. The citations cover:
- Exposing employees to fall, struck-by and burn hazards;
- Failing to follow hazardous energy-control procedures when employees perform service and maintenance on machinery;
- Failing to train employees on safety-control procedures; and
- Failing to provide machine guarding on various pieces of equipment throughout the Macon plant.
OSHA inspected the plant on Nov. 27, 2018. The agency said it initiated the follow-up inspection after failing to receive documents from Kumho that it abated violations found during a 2017 inspection.
After the latest inspection, OSHA placed Kumho in the Severe Violation Enforcement Program (SVEP).
According to the OSHA website, the SVEP "concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations."
In addition to the Kumho violations, OSHA fined Sae Joong Mold Inc. $9,093 for using damaged slings and for electrical hazards at Macon. It also fined J-Brothers Inc. $7,503 for failing to mount portable fire extinguishers or perform annual maintenance on fire extinguishers.
The companies have the choice of paying the fines, requesting an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contesting the citations before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Kumho opened the 861,113-sq.-ft. Macon plant in 2016.
A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge recently ordered a new union vote at the Macon factory after determining that company officials violated workers' rights during the first election in October 2017.
Officials of Kumho could not immediately be reached for comment.