Feds fine Auburn-based manufacturer $816,500 for failure to fix safety problems

Posted July 16, 2014, at 3:51 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Auburn-based Formed Fiber Technologies faces a fine of $816,500 from federal workplace safety regulators, who say the company failed to correct previous violations that exposed workers to amputation risks and other hazards at a manufacturing plant in Sidney, Ohio.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday the automotive interiors manufacturer falsely reported it fixed safety violations with hydraulic presses at the plant. The company faces 14 safety citations and a notice for failing to fix the problem it said had been fixed in December 2013.

A January inspection found the plant’s employees were still exposed to unguarded machines and unsafe maintenance procedures while at work, OSHA said in a statement. The company employs 750 people across three locations, including its Auburn plant.

A representative for the company was not immediately available for comment Wednesday afternoon.

The company has 15 days to respond, either by paying the penalties, requesting an informal conference with an OSHA official or contesting the findings before an OSHA commission.

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