Dec. 23, 2014
West Monroe, Louisiana, packaging plant worker suffers
serious hand injury as dangerous hazards are ignored
OSHA cites Graphic Packaging for 28 safety violations
BATON ROUGE, La. ¿ After a Graphic Packaging International Inc. employee suffered a severe injury in June 2014 when the worker's hand was caught in a moving printing press, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the employer for 28 safety violations. Proposed penalties total $129,000.
"Moving machine parts can cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns or blindness when safeguards are ignored. Employers have a responsibility to protect workers from these hazards," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge.
OSHA investigators in the Baton Rouge Area Office cited the company for 26 serious safety violations, with a penalty of $127,000. Workers were exposed to machinery hazards; failure to guard all nip points, or pinch points, on large printing presses; and failure to implement lockout/tagout procedures to shut down the equipment properly to protect workers during maintenance and repair.
Graphic Packaging also failed to inspect for defective slings, attachments and fastenings used to handle material; provide guardrails on platforms above dangerous machinery; and review annually the confined space program. 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. Additionally, Graphic Packaging was fined $2,000 for other electrical hazards and failure to illuminate an exit sign.
In addition to the West Monroe packaging plant, Graphic Packaging also owns and operates a nearby paper mill. Graphic Packaging employs more than 9,000 workers, with more than 400 at the West Monroe plant. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge, or contest the citations and 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 Baton Rouge Area Office at 225-298-5458.
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: 14-2284-DAL
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