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Workers’ fingertips amputated; no machine guarding

May 24, 2012
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OSHAOSHA has cited Plastico Products LLC in New Jersey with 28 safety and health violations, including two willful. OSHA's inspection was prompted by an incident in which a worker's fingertips were amputated at its Irvington facility.

The willful violations involve failing to develop, use and document energy control, or "lockout/tagout" procedures; ensure that employees are not exposed to unguarded moving parts; and prevent employees from placing their hands in machines' points of operation. Due to the willful violations cited, the company has been added to OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. For more information on the program, visit s.dol.gov/J3.

Twenty-three serious violations involve failing to address electrical hazards; guard moving parts; have a sufficient lockout/tagout program for the energy sources of equipment; implement a hazard communication program; provide hearing, respiratory, eye and hand protection; install handrails; ensure that emergency exit doors are visible; mount accessible portable fire extinguishers; and train employees on the use of compressed air cleaners.

Three other-than-serious violations involve failing to record injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log, train the operators of powered industrial trucks and label electrical panels.
Proposed penalties total $156,600. The citations can be viewed at www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Plastico-Products-LLC_316089804_0514_12.pdf* and www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Plastico-Products-LLC_316089556_0514_12.pdf*.

"A first step toward preventing hazards such as these is to develop and implement an illness and injury prevention program in which hazardous conditions are proactively eradicated," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional director in New York.

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