Plastic Recycler Faces Fines Over Combustible Dust Hazards

Plastic Recycler Faces Fines Over Combustible Dust Hazards

A facility in Pennsylvania faces nearly $90k in fines after exposing employees to hazards related to combustible dust.

A Pennsylvania plastic recycler is in hot water following two inspections that found the facility was exposing employees to combustible dust hazards.

According to an OSHA news brief, PGA Inc. in Freeland, Pennsylvania was cited for one willful, seven serious and one other-than-serious safety and health violations both inspections. The agency proposed penalties totaling $88,423.

OSHA investigated after reaching a referral from the Freeland Borough’s Office of Code Enforcement alleging employees at PGA Inc. were exposed to combustible dust and other workplace safety and health violations. The agency found that the facility did have hazards including permitting dangerous amounts of combustible dust to build up on surfaces near electrical equipment.

The facility had been previously cited for similar workplace safety and health violations in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020.

"Combustible dust can burn rapidly and explode with little warning, putting workers at risk for severe injury or death," said OSHA Area Director Mary Reynolds in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in a news brief. "PGA Inc.'s continued failure to implement effective controls to prevent the accumulation of combustible dust will not be tolerated."

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