Optimum Plastics Inc. has been cited by OSHA after four workers suffered forearm fractures while operating winder machines with inadequate guarding at the company's Delaware packaging plant. The agency has cited three safety violations carrying proposed penalties of $81,000.
On May 16, 2012, an employee had his left arm pulled into the machine, resulting in the fracture of both bones in his left forearm. Similar injuries occurred in January, February and April of this year, which resulted in fractured bones in the forearms of three other employees. During the March complaint inspection, company injury reports and medical records were reviewed, and OSHA determined that at least 15 less severe injuries occurred to employees operating winder machines at the company during the past five years.
"Optimum Plastics made no effort to provide adequate machine guarding, even after multiple employees suffered injuries while operating this equipment. That is unacceptable," said OSHA Area Director Deborah Zubaty in Columbus.
One willful violation was cited for failing to have adequate machine guarding on the winder machines on production lines one, two and three at the plastics packaging plant.
OSHA also issued one repeat violation for having a flexible cord, which was not grounded. Optimum Plastics was cited at the same facility for a similar violation in January 2010.
One serious violation was issued for installing ring guards on the emergency stop actuators of the winder machine on production line six, which prevented employees from readily activating the emergency stop buttons.