Plastic Product Manufacturer Fined $156K after Worker Loses Fingertips

Willful violations involve failing to ensure that employees are not exposed to unguarded moving parts and prevent employees from placing their hands in machines’ points of operation.

OSHA has cited Plastico Products LLC 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, N.J., facility. Proposed penalties total $156,600.

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. The citations carry $84,000 in penalties. 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.

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. The citations carry $72,000 in penalties.

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. The citations carry $600 in penalties.

“Plastico Products continues to put workers at risk and neglect the implementation of safety measures,” said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office, which conducted the inspection. “Employers are responsible and liable for worker safety and health.”

“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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