A Chicago-based container manufacturing plant has been fined over a half million dollars by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) for what it described as “repeated” and “serious” violations of machine safety procedures.
The company, which makes rigid plastic, metal and hybrid containers, had the proposed penalties levied by OSHA following four separate reports of employee accidents at the facility that resulted in injuries.
The area OSHA Director is reported to have cited a “lack of machine safety guards and procedures”. As a result, the company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
The OSHA investigation found that one company employee suffered broken bones in his hand after it was crushed by a machine. Three other employees at the plant reportedly suffered amputations from unguarded chain and sprocket operations. In the past five years, according to OSHA, 15 workers have suffered injuries at the plant that resulted in amputations.
The OSHA Director noted that lack of machine safety guards and procedures contribute to many employee injuries nationwide every year.
OSHA also issued citations to the company for failing to adequately train their employees in lockout-tagout (LOTO) procedures. LOTO procedures are designed to prevent unintentional machine movement from stored energy.
The five citations issued in this case charged that the company failed to adequately lockout equipment prior to clearing jams. In addition, the company is alleged to have inadequately provided machine guards on several pieces of equipment.
This company, based in Atlanta, Georgia, has plants at 27 North American locations including the Chicago plant with approximately 4000 employees nationwide. There are approximately 500 employees in the Chicago plant.
The company was given 15 days in which to file an appeal to the citations, request a conference with OSHA or comply and pay the penalties.
ESC Services, a Rockwell Automation Business, provides lockout/tagout procedures uniquely designed for your company to avoid costly fines, assembly delays and, most importantly, injuries to your employees.