OSHA Proposes $270,000 Fines for GM and LG Energy Battery Plant Over Safety Violations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recommended fines totaling $270,000 for the General Motors and LG Energy Solution joint venture battery plant, Ultium Cells, located in Ohio. This action comes in response to a March explosion and fire incident at the plant. OSHA investigators identified 19 safety and health violations, including 17 serious violations. The company allegedly failed to adequately train workers on safety and emergency response procedures and did not adhere to federal standards for personal protective equipment use.
Ultium Cells responded by expressing their commitment to safety and requesting a hearing with OSHA. The agency issued a hazard alert letter, urging the company to reduce metal dust accumulations and protect employees from exposure. OSHA emphasised the importance of workplace safety, citing the need for machine guard installation, worker training in hazardous energy control, emergency response procedures, and other necessary changes.
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain voiced concerns, highlighting the hazardous nature of EV battery operations and advocating for appropriate compensation for workers. OSHA continues its scrutiny of Ultium Cells, investigating additional incidents, including a chemical exposure report due to a pressure gauge failure. Since the plant’s battery cell production commenced in August 2022, OSHA has cited Ultium Cells 11 times, indicating persistent safety challenges at the facility.