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The death of a worker has led to focus on conditions at an auto-parts plant in Georgia. This is the eighth time in four years that Sewon American in LaGrange has been the subject of a federal safety investigation.

Federal regulators have discovered multiple safety violations at the LaGrange plant since it opened in 2009. The latest investigation was triggered after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration received a complaint about excessive heat on the same day that a worker died at the plant, reportedly after suffering from excessive heat exposure. The company has said her death was not work-related.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that employees had reported problems in the air conditioning that led to stiffing heat around the facility. Workers near welding lines were at particular risk of heat exposure and related illnesses because of the heat.

Former employees have reported that many times, they felt so hot and so stifled that they were almost dehydrated. According to these workers, plant operators never turned on the air conditioning, and access to water was limited.

Summer heat can become unbearable, posing not only an inconvenience but also a risk of injuries and fatalities. The Occupational Safety and Health Illustration will most likely take a very stringent view if the workers’ complaints are verified. In the past, the same facility has faced fines for ignoring safety violations and endangering worker health.

Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned. Contact us today if you have been hurt on the job and need legal advice.


      • Miami Herald