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An OSHA investigation has determined that SK Battery America Inc. exposed employees to serious and potentially disabling safety and health hazards. The company, which specializes in electric vehicle battery production, has been cited for six serious violations and one other-than-serious violation. These violations include failing to make sure employees had access to eyewash stations and emergency showers and exposing employees to noise levels exceeding the 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 A-weighted decibels. In addition, employees who had to work with cobalt, nickel and manganese were exposed to respiratory hazards. SK Battery America faces $75,449 in penalties.
In a recent quote, OSHA Area Office Director Joshua Turner said, “The lithium battery industry has experienced unprecedented growth, and with that growth comes a heightened responsibility to ensure the safety of those at the forefront of innovation. SK Battery America Inc. is well aware that materials used to produce lithium batteries can cause debilitating and permanent health issues. OSHA’s continued efforts to identify and remain vigilant to these emerging hazards is key in helping the industry understand how to eliminate employee exposures in the workplace. No employer should overlook the reality that is not just about advancing technology; it is about prioritizing the safety of your employees.”