Jan. 14, 2016
Genpak facility in Hope Hull cited for exposing Alabama workers
to dangerous hazards causing two serious injuries in two-month span
Workers faced explosions, amputations and falls; more than $103K in penalties proposed
Employer name: Genpak LLC
Inspection site: 7621 Bill Joseph Parkway, Hope Hull, Alabama
Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the employer on Jan. 13 for two repeated, six serious and one other-than-serious safety violation.
Inspection findings: OSHA initiated two inspections after learning of two serious injuries that occurred in the summer of 2015. In June, a worker suffered a partial amputation of a ring finger as a machine unexpectedly started as he tried to clear a jam. In July, another worker was airlifted to a local hospital after the forklift he was using ignited butane vapors, creating an explosion inside a shipping trailer. He suffered severe burns as a result.
OSHA inspectors cited Genpak for failing to implement specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing. The employer also exposed workers to fall hazards from unguarded platforms. OSHA previously cited the company for similar violations in 2011 and 2012 at its Middletown, New York and Hope Hull, Alabama facilities.
The serious citations are related to failing to use an explosion-proof forklift in an area filled with flammable gas; exposing workers to machinery that could start up during maintenance and servicing; exposing workers to being struck by improperly stacked boxes and not protecting workers from electrical deficiencies. Other violations include failing to notify OSHA, within 24 hours, of a workplace amputation.
Quote: "I am concerned that this employer is continuing to expose its workers to previously cited and easily identifiable hazards," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "Management needs to review its safety program and ensure that safety hazards are not only being addressed, but also shared with the other facilities within the company."
Proposed penalties: $103,100
The citations can be viewed at:
Genpak LLC manufactures food packaging products. The company is headquartered in Middletown, New York and employs nearly 200 workers at 18 facilities throughout North America. 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 Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.
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: 16-27-ATL (16)
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