OSHA has cited Magna Seating, doing business as Excelsior Springs Seating System, for one serious health violation of the agency's general duty clause after a May 2016 agency investigation found musculoskeletal disorder injuries. The company has also been issued two "Hazard Alert" letters in which the agency raises concerns about possible medical mismanagement by Magna Seating. The concerns include denying access to medical care and violating medical restrictions placed on injured employees, as well as tasks on the manufacturing line that cause workers to reach - too high and too low - for prolonged periods of time, which can result in injury.

The causes

  • After reviewing the company's injury and illness logs, investigators found workers suffered musculoskeletal injuries of the hand, wrist and elbow after exposure to ergonomic stressors and risk factors related to tasks such as:
  • Repetitive motion in the assembly of automotive seats.
  • Forceful exertions and awkward postures.
  • Extended reaching too high or too low for prolonged periods of time.

A review of injury logs found the company recorded six musculoskeletal related injuries requiring employee surgery in 2014; 15 in 2015 and one so far in 2016.

Lost time rate is twice the industry average

"OSHA's review found multiple reports of hand, wrist, and shoulder injuries related to employees accomplishing tasks that require repetitive motion and awkward posture. Musculoskeletal injuries are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time," said Karena Lorek, OSHA's acting area director in Kansas City. "Magna Seating's lost work time rate was more than twice the Bureau of Labor Statistics' industry average. The company needs to improve its ergonomics program to prevent further employee injuries and review its management of employees who suffer work related injuries."

Previous violations 

OSHA has inspected the Magna facility in Excelsior Springs five times since 2007, including this inspection. In December 2015, this facility had an employer reported amputation which resulted in one recordkeeping violation; this inspection resulted in the ergonomics referral. In 2016, two recordkeeping inspections were conducted.

Background: Excelsior Springs Seating System specializes in seat assembly for the automobile industry, and is an operating group of Magna International Incorporated. Specific to seating, the company has manufacturing and assembly plants in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Magna is a leading global automotive supplier across 29 countries with over 152,000 employees, including approximately 250 employees at the Excelsior Springs Plant. The company designs, develops, and manufactures automotive seat systems, to original equipment manufacturers, including Ford Motor Company.

Proposed Penalties: $12,471.