A 34-year-old machine operator suffered third-degree burns on his legs and hands when molten glass bottles fell on the production floor and ignited oil residue that had leaked from the machines. The man had not been provided fire-retardant protective clothing, and the fire spread to his pant leg. He has been unable to return to work since the injury.
An OSHA inspection found that his employer, Park Hills-based Piramal Glass USA Inc., failed to follow its own and federal safety policies that could have prevented the July 11, 2015, injury. The company received one willful, one repeated and six serious safety violations from OSHA on Oct. 9. Proposed penalties total $122,000.
“A worker suffered excruciating injuries that could affect his health for years because Piramal Glass ignored company policy to require flame-resistant clothing for workers on the hot end of the bottle-making line,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis. “It’s not enough for employers to have good policies on the books – they must abide by them. The company needs to develop and comply with a comprehensive policy on personal protective clothing.”
Inspectors also found that Piramal Glass failed to train workers on health hazards for workplace chemicals, a violation OSHA cited at this same facility in March 2014.
The company also failed to do the following:
- Keep floor clean of oil leaking from machines.
- Train workers on personal protective equipment requirements.
- Provide fire extinguisher training.
- Develop safety procedures for employees’ response to jammed bottles on the “hot” production line.
- Ensure proper laundering of protective clothing.
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One of the largest manufacturers of glass for pharmaceuticals and perfumery businesses, Piramal Glass has production facilities in India, Sri Lanka and Flat River, Missouri.