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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-02-149
Tues., Sept. 17, 2002
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
$313,500 in Fines to Plastics Firm
DALLAS -- Exposing employees to hazards associated with improper electrical wiring, leaving machines and floor holes unguarded, and failure to provide protection against the possible release of stored energy, have resulted in $313,500 in proposed fines against Nan Ya Plastics Corp. America. in Bachelor, La.
The company manufactures flexible plastic film, employs about 270 workers at the site, and is privately owned by Formosa Plastics Group, headquartered in Taiwan. It has received citations for two alleged willful violations, 28 alleged serious, seven alleged repeat and four alleged other-than-serious violations following an inspection conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in response to an employee complaint.
The alleged willful violations were for failing to guard rotating equipment that could cause amputations of limbs and other hazards. A willful violation is defined as an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
The alleged serious violations included failing to train and protect workers against unexpected energization of equipment and release of stored energy (lock out/tag out); unguarded floor holes/openings and rotating shafts; not providing employees with personal protective equipment necessary to prevent thermal burns and lack of training for exposure to chemicals and fire hazards. A serious violation is one that could cause death or serious physical harm to employees and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Seven alleged repeat violations were issued for failure to provide guardrails along open-sided floors; unmounted fire extinguishers; electrical problems; improper floor maintenance and failure to implement lock out/tag out procedures to shut down energy sources. A repeat violation is defined as the same or similar violation that has been previously cited against the company.
Four alleged other-than-serious violations were issued for failing to implement standards that protect workers against hazardous chemicals such as blood borne pathogens and vinyl chloride and failing to provide employees with respiratory fit tests. Such violations have a direct relationship to job safety and health but are not serious in nature.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's toll-free hotline number at 1-800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers. Nan Ya Plastics Corp., America has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with Baton Rouge area office, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.
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