Formed Fiber Technologies Cited for Repeat, Serious Violations

The textile manufacturer faces $108,800 in OSHA penalties.

An OSHA inspection found that workers at Formed Fiber Technologies LLC were at risk of injuries because their employer did not ensure proper safeguards on the machines they operate. The Auburn, Maine, facility uses a variety of machines to make polyester carpets and thermoformed trunk liners for the automotive industry.

"Formed Fiber Technologies employees in Auburn face the risk of lacerations, crushed fingers, amputation, or worse if struck by or caught in unguarded or unexpectedly activated machinery," said Maryann Medeiros, OSHA's area director for Maine. "Some of these hazards are similar to those found in previous OSHA inspections. Formed Fiber is responsible for effectively correcting all of these hazards once and for all."

OSHA found that employees who cleaned water jet cells used in the production process faced laceration and fracture hazards, as well as potentially deadly hazards because the jet cells were not powered down and locked to stop them from starting. This is required under OSHA's lockout/tagout standard. The company also failed to review a representative sampling of employees to make sure they understood and followed lockout/tagout requirements.

Furthermore, robots used to trim trunk liners during the production process had the capability of reaching beyond their safety perimeters and striking the robots' operators or other nearby employees. OSHA has cited Formed Fiber Technologies for two repeat and five serious violations of workplace safety standards following the inspection.

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