June 7, 2016
OSHA finds flammable chemicals caused fire hazards,
unguarded machine amputated worker's fingertip at PhytogenX
Cosmetics manufacturer fined $285,300 for hazards at Morgantown facility
Employer name: PhytogenX Inc.
Inspection site: 35 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Morgantown, Pennsylvania
Inspection findings: On Dec. 10, 2015, OSHA initiated an inspection after the employer notified the agency that a worker had a finger amputated by a machine. The inspection was also in response to a separate complaint alleging hazards related to the storage and handling of flammable liquids at the cosmetic manufacturer.
The willful violations involved improper storage and handling of flammable liquids.
The agency found serious violations when PhytogenX:
- Improperly stored, transferred and processed flammable liquids.
- Exposed employees to fall and forklift hazards.
- Failed to properly guard a filling machine, which caused the amputation.
- Failed to provide fire extinguisher and hazards of flammable liquid training.
- Failed to develop and implement a written hazard communication program.
Quote: "PhytogenX did not uphold its legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace by exposing employees to serious fire hazards, and not training them to recognize warning signs or special precautions required when working with flammable liquids," said Kevin Kilp, area director of OSHA's Harrisburg office. "An employee needlessly suffered the loss of a fingertip, which is something that could have been prevented through basic machine safeguards. This company must immediately address the cited hazards to avoid further incidents from occurring."
Proposed penalties: $285,300
The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference 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 amputations, eye loss, 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 Harrisburg Area Office at 717-782-3902.
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.
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Release Number: 16-1188-PHI (osha 16-072)
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