OSHA Fines Major EV Battery Manufacturer $75K - Worksite Medical
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Picture this: a bustling electric vehicle battery plant, the hub of innovation and progress. Thousands of skilled workers combine with cutting-edge technology helping power the electric car revolution.

But, hold the presses! Things aren’t always as impressive as they seem.

A recent workplace safety inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor revealed a not-so-glitzy reality at a major vehicle battery manufacturing plant.

The plant, located in Commerce, GA and employing more than 3,000 workers, must now answer to the results of their recent inspection.

Now, let’s dive into the findings and implications of this inspection, shining a light on the serious safety and health hazards faced by the employees of this global electric vehicle battery powerhouse.

Let’s break it down.


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A person presumed to be a doctor holding a paper which reads "occupational safety & health act, OSHA"

The Revelations of the Plant Inspection


Continuous Noise Nightmares

Ever imagined working in an environment where noise is more than just background chatter, but actually painful? These company employees faced just that.

The inspection uncovered continuous noise levels that far exceeded the safety threshold, posing potential risks to their hearing health.

The company also failed to implement a monitoring program or establish audiometric testing, leaving employees without the protection they needed.


Respiratory Hazards Unmasked

In the world of batteries, cobalt, nickel, and manganese take center stage. Unfortunately, so did respiratory hazards for their employees.

A workplace hazard assessment was MIA, and respirators were neither cleaned nor stored properly.

Workers handling these materials were left in the lurch, lacking feasible controls to curb their exposure levels. It’s a breath of fresh air turned sour.


Eyewash Stations Left High and Dry

Working with corrosive materials is risky business, and this employer didn’t quite utilize the safety manual on this one.

OSHA found that employees dealing with corrosive materials lacked access to eyewash stations and emergency showers. This is a glaring gap in safety measures, and could be the difference between a minor incident and a major catastrophe.


The Danger of Nickel Powder Bags

Nobody should handle bags of nickel powder without proper safeguards, considering the host of respiratory problems powdered metals can create.

Unfortunately, this employer played a hazardous game by not providing adequate administrative or engineering controls to reduce exposure level.


OSHA’s Verdict


The Lithium Battery Boom and the Safety Toll

The lithium battery industry is skyrocketing. But, with great power comes greater responsibility.

OSHA‘s Area Office Director Joshua Turner in Atlanta-East emphasized the critical need for safety in this booming industry.

The materials used in producing lithium batteries can wreak havoc on health, and this manufacturer is not exempt from this reality.


OSHA’s Vigilance

Turner also highlighted OSHA’s ongoing efforts to identify and address emerging hazards in the industry. “No employer should overlook the reality that is not just about advancing technology; it is about prioritizing the safety of your employees,” he stated.

Turner’s words underscore the pivotal role of regulatory bodies in guiding industries toward eliminating employee exposures in the workplace.


Penalties and Accountability


This employer is facing the music in the form of proposed penalties totaling $75,449, in accordance with federal statute. A financial repercussion that speaks to the seriousness of the violations uncovered during the inspection.

They have contested the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Bringing It Together


In the fast-paced world of electric vehicle battery manufacturing, innovation should not come at the cost of employee safety.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the responsibility that accompanies industry growth. As the sector continues to evolve, prioritizing safety is not just a regulatory requirement; it’s a moral imperative.

The lessons learned from this inspection should echo across the industry, prompting companies to reevaluate their safety protocols and ensure that progress doesn’t compromise the well-being of those driving innovation forward.

If you’re looking for information regarding compliance, and for free help complying with OSHA standards, you can contact the agency, right here.

The NIOSH sound level meter app is available to the public to download for free on mobile iOS devices. It measures sound levels in the workplace and provides noise exposure parameters to help reduce occupational noise-induced hearing loss.

For more information on workplace noise levels and safety, visit OSHA’s noise exposure website, right here.


Mobile Audiometric Testing

For audiometric testing, which is required by OSHA, Worksite Medical brings the examinations directly to your worksite. Employers must make audiometric testing available at no cost to all employees who are exposed to an action level of 85 dB or above, measured as an 8-hour TWA.

You can get up to six audio booths and up to 20 exams per hour for efficient testing. Audiometric testing is pure tone air-conducted hearing testing performed in each ear at frequencies of 500, 1K, 2K, 3K, 4K, 6K, and 8K. This sort of testing identifies hearing levels and sensitivity to the exposed sound.

We also provide hearing safety training. And, you never have to send your team members away to a clinic. Get your risk-free quote or schedule your on-site audiometric exams below. Let’s keep your team safe and stay ahead of OSHA inspections together.

Take a virtual tour of our mobile medical units HERE.


Stay In Compliance With Worksite Medical

In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.

Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.

If you’re in need of DOT physical exams for your team, look no further! We offer both individual and company-wide DOT physical exams. For more information on what DOT physical exams involve, or to schedule exams for you and your team, head to: DOT Physical Exams

Additionally, we conduct on-site respirator fit tests, as well as audiometric exams, pulmonary function tests and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.

With Worksite Medical, a mobile medical testing unit — we can bring all the resources of a lab to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.

Protect your team and your workplace now with Worksite Medical. Not sure what you need? Try our medical testing wizard here.

Give us a call at 1-844-622-8633, or complete the form below to schedule an on-site visit or to get your free quote.