OSHA fines Selma auto parts supplier

Published 11:27 pm Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Selma manufacturer Renosol.

The fines total $9,350 and include two violations OSHA cited as serious in a letter sent to the company Nov. 18.

The company makes foam cushions for seats and headrests for Hyundai at its Craig Field plant.

The first serious violation involved employees not using protective equipment when encountering hazards.

According to OSHA, Renosol failed to provide or require employees to use arm sleeves or hand protection when handling materials containing Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) or Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI).

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, isocyanates are widely used in foams, fibers and coatings like paints and varnishes. They irritate the eyes as well as gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Direct skin contact can also cause inflammation.

The second serious violation concerned employees not being given proper training, including on the hazards associated with handling isocyanates.

Back in May, Renosol employees delivered a letter to management addressing health and safety concerns, including one specific incident on May 1 when TDI reportedly leaked into the air.

Mel Stephens, senior vice president of Renosol’s parent company Lear Corporation, said the recent OSHA citations are being reviewed but confirm what an internal investigation found in May — that the plant’s air is safe.

“The latest OSHA communications confirm that OSHA has accepted the repeated scientific test results that showed there is no breathing hazards at the Selma plant,” Stephens said.

Stephens said the Selma plant is a safe place to work and focused on the future.

“Our workplace in Selma is safe, and we are very proud of the fine job done by our employees there,” Stephens said. “We remain focused on serving our customers and building opportunity in the Selma community.”