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Oil filter manufacturer hit with fines for 20 safety violations

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued 20 citations for workplace safety violations and proposed total penalties of $112,500 against an Ohio manufacturer.

The Bellevue Manufacturing Co. of Bellevue, Ohio, which manufactures agricultural oil filters, was cited by the agency last week for 19 serious and one other-than-serious health and safety violations, including exposing workers to amputation and machine hazards, the agency said in a press release on Thursday.

The citations follow a March investigation that found employees were exposed to operating parts of machinery, fall hazards due to the lack of guard rails, unintentional operation of machines during service and maintenance, electrical shock due to a lack of personal protective equipment and training in safe work practices, and confined space hazards when entering the parts washer due to a lack of training, signage and procedures, according to the press release. The company also failed to provide eye and face protection for workers exposed to battery acid and did not provide an eye wash station, and did not train workers on operating powered industrial vehicles, according to the agency.

“Each year thousands of workers are injured on the job because their employer failed to follow basic safety procedures such as providing protective clothing and installing machine safety guards,” Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo, Ohio, said in the statement. “Employers need to develop safety and health programs that are appropriate for the work tasks and ensure workers are properly trained.”

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.