Multiple Violations Assessed Against Food Packaging Provider

OSHA has cited Genpak for failing to implement specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing and also for exposing workers to fall hazards from unguarded platforms.

Genpak LLC of Middletown, N.Y., faces $103,100 in proposed penalties along with two repeat, six serious, and one other-than-serious safety violations from OSHA after its inspections of a company site located in Hope Hull, Ala. OSHA cited the company Jan. 13 after investigating two serious injuries that occurred last summer: A worker suffered a partial amputation of a finger in June when a machine unexpectedly started as he tried to clear a jam, and an employee was airlifted to a local hospital in July after the forklift he was using ignited butane vapors, causing an explosion inside a shipping trailer. He suffered severe burns, OSHA reported.

The agency has cited Genpak for failing to implement specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing and also for exposing workers to fall hazards from unguarded platforms. OSHA earlier cited the company for similar violations in 2011 and 2012 at its Middletown and Hope Hull facilities. The serious citations are related to failing to use an explosion-proof forklift in an area filled with flammable gas; exposing workers to machinery that could start up during maintenance and servicing; exposing workers to being struck by improperly stacked boxes; and not protecting workers from electrical deficiencies.

"I am concerned that this employer is continuing to expose its workers to previously cited and easily identifiable hazards," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "Management needs to review its safety program and ensure that safety hazards are not only being addressed, but also shared with the other facilities within the company."

According to OSHA, Genpak LLC manufactures food packaging products and employs nearly 200 workers at 18 facilities throughout North America.

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