Hysco will appeal OSHA fines

Published 4:02 pm Friday, September 3, 2010

Hysco America will appeal the $60,500 in OSHA-proposed penalties, the company announced in a released statement today.

Jonathan Byrd, human resources and general affairs manager for Hysco, said the company’s top priority is the safety and well-being of its employees.

“We have an excellent safety record and are very proud of our comprehensive safety program, which OSHA has complimented,” said Byrd in a released statement. “Certainly we are disappointed with OSHA’s incorrect description of the facts surrounding the citations issued to our company on August 30, 2010, and it is regrettable that this federal agency has chosen to issue a press release before Hysco has had an opportunity to respond to the citations.”

Byrd said company officials would not discuss the specifics of OSHA’s citations, but stated that Hysco disagrees with the federal agency’s version of the events as described in the initial press release.

OSHA announced the fines against the Greenville-based company on Wednesday. Hysco is a Tier 1 supplier to the Hyundai Automotive plant in Hope Hull.

OSHA reported it began its inspection in June as part of its national emphasis program to prevent amputations in the workplace. The citations include one violation carrying a $49,000 penalty for the company allowing an amputation hazard to continue by failing to provide proper machine guarding on its production equipment, according to OSHA. Additionally, OSHA issued four other-than-serious citations with $1,500 in penalties for not properly completing the OSHA 300 log for 2007, 2008 and 2009 and for failing to provide information to workers employing voluntary-use respirators at the plant.

“We strongly deny this Agency’s allegation that our company failed to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of our employees,” said Byrd. “We will proceed through OSHA’s administrative process and make every effort to assist OSHA in better understanding both the facts surrounding these unfounded citations, as well as our ongoing commitment to employee safety.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.