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Judge affirms $1.3M penalty in auto parts worker’s death

Posted On: Mar. 9, 2023 11:08 AM CST


An administrative law judge has affirmed $1.3 million in penalties against an auto parts supplier stemming from the 2016 death of a worker crushed at a manufacturing facility in Cusseta, Alabama.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Wednesday that the fine and citation against Joon LLC, operating as AJIN USA, was affirmed following a review by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The company had contested the workplace citations, which were issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a 20-year-old machine operator suffered fatal crushing injuries in June 2016 while attempting to clear a sensor fault inside a robotic cell machine on an assembly line.

Following the workplace death, OSHA cited the company for 51 safety violations, including 48 willful violations.

It originally faced $2.5 million in total fines, which had since been reduced.  

In September 2020, a federal court in Alabama also ordered AJIN USA to pay a $500,000 fine and $1 million in restitution to the deceased worker’s estate after the company pleaded guilty to a charge of a willful violation of an OSHA standard, according to the DOL.

The company, based in Korea, is a global auto parts supplier that has manufacturing plants in the U.S., South Korea, China and Vietnam.

At the time of the 2016 death, the company employed about 700 workers at the Cusseta facility.