Plastics Company Cited Following Amputation Injury

OSHA cited Falcon Plastics, Washington, Pa., for alleged safety\r\nand health violations and proposed $161,000 in penalties.

OSHA cited Falcon Plastics, Washington, Pa., for alleged safety and health violations and proposed $161,000 in penalties.

The agency initiated an inspection on Aug. 17, in response to a complaint filed after an employee suffered amputation of several fingers.

This was the second accident involving amputation suffered by a Falcon employee within a five-month period, according to OSHA.

Falcon Plastics is a plastics products manufacturer employing 220 people.

According to Robert Szymanski, area director of the OSHA Pittsburgh office, the company was issued two willful violations, carrying a penalty of $112,000; 15 serious violations, carrying a penalty of $49,000; and seven other-than-serious violations, which carry no penalty.

"These two unfortunate incidents occurred because Falcon Plastics allowed its employees to work on unguarded machinery, without use of the hand tools," said Szymanski. "Proper guarding must be employed immediately to prevent future tragedies from occurring."

The willful violations were issued because of the company''s failure to guard machinery and failure to provide special hand tools designed to protect machine operators from inadvertently making contact with the machine.

Serious violations included:

  • lack of personal protective equipment;
  • lack of machine guarding;
  • exposed electrical parts;
  • improper use of powered industrial trucks;
  • deficient lockout/tagout program; and,
  • improper storage of compressed gas cylinders.

Other-than-serious violations were due to the company''s deficient recordkeeping, poor housekeeping and failure to provide hazard communication training.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to either decide to comply or contest them.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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