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After Fifth Fire Burns Maintenance Worker, OSHA Fines Auto Parts Maker

A maintenance technician is still recovering from third-degree burns after flames engulfed his upper body following a dust collection explosion.

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Last September a 33-year-old maintenance technician at Nakanishi Manufacturing Corp.’s Winterville, GA facility was operating a dust collector when an explosion occurred. Flames engulfed the man, causing third-degree burns to his upper body. The employee continues to recover from his injuries.

OSHA opened an investigation after learning of the employee’s hospitalization. The agency issued citations to the manufacturer earlier this week for one willful, 18 serious and one other-than-serious safety and health violations.

“Nakanishi Manufacturing had four previous fires in the dust collection system in Winterville and management knew that the combustible dust hazard was not corrected, yet they continued to let workers operate the system,” said William Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office. “Out of sight, out of mind is not an acceptable strategy for fixing workplace hazards. This mindset is dangerous, irresponsible and must be changed immediately.”

OSHA has proposed penalties totaling $144,995. The agency issued Nakanishi one willful citation for exposing workers to unguarded machinery and other citations relating to the employer’s failure to:

  • Evaluate the performance of powered industrial truck operators at least once every three years.
  • Train and inspect workers on the specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing.
  • Provide a workplace free from recognized hazards.
  • Failure to train employees on the hazards of combustible dust.
  • Conduct annual hearing tests for workers exposed to high noise levels.

Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, Nakanishi Manufacturing Corp. employs approximately 153 workers in the U.S. The company manufactures plastic and metal automotive bearing retainers.

For more information on OSHA's workplace safety standards, go to

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