Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Plastics Industry

Plastics Industry - Photo Credit: iStock-174349089 | Copyright: aydinmutlu
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Hazards and Solutions

Many workers are unaware of the potential hazards in their work environments, making them more vulnerable to injury. The following references aid in recognizing and controlling workplace hazards that may be present in the plastics industry.

  • A Primer Based on Workplace Evaluations of Musculoskeletal Disorders. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 97-117, (March 1997). Links to NIOSH investigations where certain work settings were found to contribute to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). Lists disorders and recommendations for avoiding injury. The following are relevant to the plastics industry:
    • 3070: Manufacturing (Plastics, metal products)
      • Bennett Industries, Peotone, Illinois. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Health Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance (HETA) Report No. HETA 89–146–2049, (June 1990).
    • 3089: Manufacturing (Plastic products)
      • Scott Molders, Inc., Kent, Ohio. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Health Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance (HETA) Report No. HETA 91-0003-2232, (July 1992).
  • For additional information, see OSHA's Ergonomics Safety and Health Topics Page.
Hazard Communication
Legionnaires' Disease
Machine Guarding
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Powered Industrial Trucks
Respiratory Protection
Walking/Working Surfaces
  • Final Rule to Update General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards. OSHA, (2016).
  • Slips and Falls Caused by Plastic Pellets and Beads
    • Slips and falls are one of the major causes of plastics industry accidents. They occur frequently and happen when you least expect it. Walking surfaces that have spilled resin pellets or beads provide minimal traction due to the slippery nature of the pellets or beads, and subject workers to slips and falls. The occurrence of slips and falls and the extent of injuries from them can be minimized through proper safety and good housekeeping practices. It is important to identify and correct unsafe conditions to prevent slips and falls from spilled resin pellets or beads. An all around program that will help you is called "Operation Clean Sweep". This free program shows you how to ensure that your worksite is properly set up to prevent pellet loss and to assist you in cleaning up your facility.
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