August 18, 2016
Plastic manufacturer fails to report employee's hospitalization to OSHA
Ohio company cited for exposing workers to machine safety hazards
Employer name: Liqui-Box Corporation, Ashland, Ohio
Citations issued: Aug. 11, 2016
Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Toledo Area Office has cited the food plastics manufacturer for three serious and one-other-than serious safety violations. Acting on a complaint after a worker suffered the partial amputation of his left thumb, inspectors began an investigation on June 28, 2016, and found violations of OSHA's machine safety standards.
The agency determined the manufacturing maintenance employee suffered the injury on Feb. 23, 2016, while operating a plastic blow molding press. With a guard door open, the employee reached for a part when the machine's mold closed on the employee's left hand. The crushing injuries led to the amputation of the end of the employee's thumb.
OSHA found the company failed to:
- Report a hospitalization injury to OSHA within 24 hours, as required.
- Adequately guard machine operating parts.
- Implement machine safety procedures, known as lockout/tag out, to prevent unintentional operation during service and maintenance.
- Train workers in lockout/tagout procedures.
Liqui-Box manufactures plastic packaging products for the food industry and employs 200 workers in Ashland. Based in Richmond, Virginia, the company also operates Ohio facilities in Upper Sandusky and Columbus, as well as Sacramento, California and Lake Wales, Florida.
Quote: "Each year hundreds of workers suffer amputation and other serious injuries while operating machines in manufacturing facilities," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "Liqui-Box could have prevented this worker's injury by following common sense safety procedures. Once it occurred, the company was obligated to report the incident to OSHA - but failed to do so."
Proposed Penalties: $42,413
View Citations here.
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 Toledo Area Office at (419) 259-7542.
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Release Number: 16-1679-CHI
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