Department of Labor Logo OSHA Regional News Brief - Region 3

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.


July 22, 2015


Wilmington, Delaware, manufacturer exposes workers to potentially explosive
combustible dust, other safety and health hazards

OSHA fines Franklin Fibre-Lamitex Corp. more than $86K

Employer's name: The investigation was conducted at Franklin Fibre-Lamitex Corp., doing business as Franklin Fibre. The precision parts manufacturer is located at 903 East 13th Street in Wilmington, Delaware.

Date citations issued and what prompted inspection: On July 14, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued one willful, 10 serious and one other-than-serious safety and health citations. OSHA initiated the inspection in response to a complaint alleging hazards at the facility.

Investigation findings: Franklin Fibre was cited for the accumulation of combustible dust in the work area resulting from the failure to operate and maintain a properly functioning dust-collection system. In addition, employees working in areas with the potential for a combustible dust fire were not provided with flame-retardant clothing. Inspectors also cited the company for hazardous electrical conditions, and exposing workers to amputation hazards due to improper machine guarding.

Quote: "People hear the word 'dust' and they don't think 'deadly' - but under the right circumstances, a combustible dust explosion can level a building. The machines at this facility generated the kind of dust that can cause a fatal, destructive explosion," said Erin G. Patterson, director of OSHA's Wilmington Area Office. "It's critical that Franklin Fibre remove this hazard before a tragic incident occurs."

Proposed penalties: $86,800

View the citations:

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, losses of an eye, 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 Wilmington Area Office at 302-573-6518.

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Media Contacts:

Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102,
Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101,

Release Number: 15-1436-PHI (osha 15-063)

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