Company Fined $313,500, Exposed Employees to Multiple Hazards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed fines of $313,500 against Nan Ya Plastics Corp. America for exposing employees to hazards associated with improper electrical wiring, unguarded machines machines and floor holes, and failure to provide protection against the possible release of stored energy.

The facility, located in Bachelor, La., manufactures flexible plastic film, employs about 270 workers at the site, and is privately owned by Formosa Plastics Group, headquartered in Taiwan.

The company received citations for two alleged willful violations, 28 alleged serious violations, seven alleged repeat violations and four alleged other-than-serious violations following an OSHA inspection that was triggered by 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 (lockout/tagout); 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 lockout/tagout 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 bloodborne pathogens and vinyl chloride, and failing to provide employees with respiratory fit tests. Other-than-serious violations have a direct relationship to job safety and health but are not serious in nature.

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.

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