Massachusetts Companies Agree to Penalty, Changes in OSHA Lockout Case

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Shield Packaging will pay $150,000 in penalties, provide documentation to OSHA that all hazards have been corrected, retain a professional engineer to approve the design and installation of a safety interlock on the machine that injured the worker, retain a qualified safety consultant to perform a comprehensive inspection of the plant, and develop a workplace safety and health program.

OSHA has reached agreements with Shield Packaging Co. Inc., ASI Staffing Group Corp., and Southern Mass Staffing to correct hazards and enhance safety following a May 2016 incident in which an employee was injected with a flammable propellant gas, the agency announced Oct. 24. OSHA said its investigation found that the Dudley, Mass. company – which packages aerosol containers – failed to implement required procedures to lock out the machine's power sources or train the employee on how to recognize and avoid the hazard.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Shield Packaging will pay $150,000 in penalties, provide documentation to OSHA that all hazards have been corrected, retain a professional engineer to approve the design and installation of a safety interlock on the machine that injured the worker, retain a qualified safety consultant to perform a comprehensive inspection of the plant, and develop a workplace safety and health program.

OSHA also cited ASI Staffing Group Corp. of Leominster and Southern Mass Staffing of Worcester, the temporary staffing agencies that supplied more than half of the workers at Shield Packaging. ASI Staffing agreed to pay $12,471 in penalties, implement comprehensive safety and health measures at all host companies, and determine safety responsibilities between ASI and its host companies, while Southern Mass Staffing agreed to pay a $12,222 penalty, attend safety and health training, implement a written safety and health management system, and hire an outside safety consultant.

"The Shield Packaging Co. Inc., ASI Staffing Group Corp., and Southern Mass Staffing are jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary workers," said OSHA Area Director Mary Hoye. "These settlements will help ensure that a comprehensive safety program will be developed to protect all workers – permanent and temporary – from injuries and illnesses."

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