Packaging Corporation of America cited by US Labor Department's OSHA
for repeat safety hazards after Massachusetts plant inspection
Illinois box manufacturer faces $66,000 in proposed fines
ANDOVER, Mass – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Packaging Corporation of America for two repeat violations of workplace safety standards following an inspection, begun Dec. 18, 2013, of the company's Chelmsford manufacturing plant. The box manufacturer faces $66,000 in proposed fines.
"While no injuries occurred, the potential for serious injury was evident," said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA's area director for Essex and Middlesex counties in Massachusetts. "For the safety and well-being of its workers, an employer must take effective steps to ensure that required safeguards are in place and constantly utilized at all facilities."
OSHA's Andover Area Office inspection found plant workers exposed to crushing, struck-by and caught-in machinery hazards while setting up a press. Proper procedures to shut down the machine and lock out its power source before performing the setup were not followed. Workers were also at risk of being caught in operating conveyor belts on the same machine that lacked protective guarding.
A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for similar violations at its Opelika, Ala., location.
OSHA's hazardous energy control standard, also known as lockout/tagout, requires machines powered off and their power sources locked out before conducting maintenance services to avoid injury and fatalities should a machine become energized. The machine-guarding standard requires that machinery operating parts be guarded to prevent caught-in hazards.
Packaging Corporation of America, based in Lake Forest, Ill., has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Andover office at 978-837-4460.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.