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Glass company faces more fines for safety violations

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The state wants to fine a glass company $231,000 following another round of safety concerns at a Shelbyville factory.

Pilkington North America, based in Toledo, Ohio, faces seven safety orders from the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to documents released Monday.

This is at least the third time in less than a year, and fourth time since 2010, that the state’s workplace safety agency has stepped in to address safety problems at the factory.

Pilkington, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based NSG Group, makes glass for Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and General Motors at the 350-employee Shelbyville plant.

As IBJ first reported in August, safety officials and plant workers have expressed concerns with conditions at the facility since an employee died on the job in 2010.

IOSHA fined Pilkington $32,000 initially, before dropping to $15,000 in a settlement, after machinery crushed and killed 56-year-old Kelly Dean Caudill of Connersville in September 2010.

A follow-up inspection in March and April 2012 churned up another $150,000 in proposed fines after IOSHA determined Pilkington still had several safety issues.

Soon after, complaints from workers to the state quickly prompted a “comprehensive” inspection, also known as a “wall-to-wall,” that resulted in a record-setting $453,000 proposed fine resulting from 29 safety orders.

The latest inspection began after an unnamed contract worker in October was caught in a machine press and suffered multiple bone fractures, among other injuries.

IOSHA safety orders after the accident included four “knowing” violations, which means investigators determined the company knew of problems but did not adequately address them. All the “knowing” violations were for a lack of safety training or reviews for employees.

A Department of Labor spokesman said Pilkington has appealed the most recent set of safety orders, which it also did with the previous violations.

Pilkington officials declined comment, except for an emailed statement: “As the company has previously stated, Pilkington North America is working closely with IOSHA to address all of the safety orders at our Shelbyville, IN plant.”

 
 

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