OSHA Fines Plastic Manufacturer After Worker Fatality

ABC Polymer Industries did not install proper machine guarding to prevent worker injury or death.

On the evening of Aug. 16, 2017, 45-year-old Eva Saenz was working near a plastics recycling machine when she became caught and pulled into the equipment’s rollers.

Despite other workers alerting emergency services, responders pronounced her dead on the scene. Now, ABC Polymer Industries LLC, the Helena, Ala.-based plastics manufacturer for which she was employed, is facing $195,144 in citations after an OSHA investigation.

The agency inspected ABC Polymer’s facilities immediately following the fatality and cited the company for numerous violations.

“Employers must comply with required safety and health standards to protect workers from exposure to hazards,” said OSHA Birmingham Area Office Director Ramona Morris. “This company’s failure to install machine guarding equipment has resulted in a preventable tragedy.”

The company received one willful citation for failing to provide machine guarding to protect workers from caught-in and amputation hazards.

ABC Polymer Industries also was cited for numerous repeat, serious, and other-than-serious violations, which include:

  • Failing to evaluate all powered industrial trucks every three years
  • Lack of specific safety procedures to shut down or isolate stored energy
  • Failing to install a rail system on both sides of an open platform.

The company has 15 business days to respond to the citations and proposed penalties, either in the form of compliance, requesting an informal conference or contesting the findings.

Saenz’s spouse, Crescensio Pablo, filed a lawsuit against ABC Polymer Industries, seeking worker’s compensation benefits, according to news reports.

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