US Labor Department's OSHA cites Plastico Products in Irvington, NJ,
for 28 safety and health violations after worker suffers amputation
Company added to agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program
IRVINGTON, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Plastico Products LLC with 28 safety and health violations, including two willful. OSHA's inspection was prompted by an incident in which a worker's fingertips were amputated at its Irvington facility.
The willful violations involve failing to develop, use and document energy control, or "lockout/tagout" procedures; ensure that employees are not exposed to unguarded moving parts; and prevent employees from placing their hands in machines' points of operation. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The citations carry $84,000 in penalties. Due to the willful violations cited, the company has been added to OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. For more information on the program, visit http://s.dol.gov/J3.
Twenty-three serious violations involve failing to address electrical hazards; guard moving parts; have a sufficient lockout/tagout program for the energy sources of equipment; implement a hazard communication program; provide hearing, respiratory, eye and hand protection; install handrails; ensure that emergency exit doors are visible; mount accessible portable fire extinguishers; and train employees on the use of compressed air cleaners. 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. The citations carry $72,000 in penalties.
Three other-than-serious violations involve failing to record injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log, train the operators of powered industrial trucks and label electrical panels. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. The citations carry $600 in penalties.
"Plastico Products continues to put workers at risk and neglect the implementation of safety measures," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office, which conducted the inspection. "Employers are responsible and liable for worker safety and health."
Proposed penalties total $156,600. The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Plastico-Products-LLC_316089804_0514_12.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Plastico-Products-LLC_316089556_0514_12.pdf*.
"A first step toward preventing hazards such as these is to develop and implement an illness and injury prevention program in which hazardous conditions are proactively eradicated," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional director in New York.
Plastico Products LLC has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties 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 OSHA's Parsippany office; telephone 973-263-1003.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. 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 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.