August 28, 2014
Connecticut plastics manufacturer exposed employees
to falls, mechanical, electrical and chemical hazards
Superior Plastics cited for 24 safety and health violations
HARTFORD, Conn. – Employees at Superior Plastics Extrusion Co. Inc., doing business as Impact Plastics, were exposed to two dozen safety and health hazards, including falls and mechanical hazards, according to federal inspectors. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed penalties totaling $66,789 for violations at the company's Putnam, Connecticut, manufacturing plant.
"This inspection uncovered a wide range of safety and health hazards, which could injure, sicken or even kill employees," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "While the range of hazards in a manufacturing setting can be broad, their proliferation is unacceptable. More importantly, the existence of these hazards is preventable if the employer takes a responsible and comprehensive approach to identifying and addressing conditions before they place employees at risk."
OSHA's inspection found that employees were exposed to hazards, including:
- falls from unguarded work platforms,
- being caught in unexpectedly activated machinery due to a lack of specific procedures to lock out machines' power sources,
- lacerations and amputation from machinery whose operating parts were not guarded against contact,
- electric shock due to lack of training for electrical maintenance staff, and
- fire or explosion from improperly secured gas cylinders.
These conditions resulted in OSHA citing the company for 22 serious violations and two other violations of workplace safety standards. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Superior Plastics Extrusion Co. Inc., a maker of plastic products, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & 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 Hartford office at 860-240-3152.
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.
Release Number: 14-1583-BOS/BOS 2014-139
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