An employee of Wilbert Inc., based in Belmont, North Carolina suffered severe burns at the company’s Bellevue, Ohio manufacturing facility because procedures had not been taken to prevent the machine from releasing hot plastic during maintenance resulting in the injury.

That finding by OSHA investigators resulted in the issuance of eight serious and two other-than-serious safety and health violations for the plastic injection molding company.

Wilbert Inc. manufactures parts for Ford and Whirlpool and employs about 3,000 workers company-wide and 325 at the Ohio site.

Trouble occurred while troubleshooting

OSHA initiated the investigation after the 36-year-old employee suffered burns to his face, eyes, and hands while troubleshooting and cleaning a mold located within a plastic injection press.

"Each year thousands of workers are injured because manufacturers fail to recognize machine hazards and prevent workers from injuries during the manufacturing process. No worker's shift should end with a visit to the hospital," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo.

The serious violations include:

  • Not providing personal protective equipment to protect against burns and falls
  • Failing to comply with machine safety procedures such as the use of locking devices and de-energizing equipment
  • Not training employees about machine safety procedures and hazards
  • Exposing employees to fall hazards while accessing parts of presses
  • Not maintaining floors in dry condition

OSHA issued two other-than-serious violations for failing report a hospitalization within 24-hours and to fill out OSHA injury and illness logs correctly.

Proposed Penalties: $48,900