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OSHA Fines Plastics Maker $274K for Machine Safety Hazards

January 4, 2017

2 Min Read
OSHA Fines Plastics Maker $274K for Machine Safety Hazards
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The New Philadelphia, OH plastic production facility of Lauren Manufacturing faces $274,934 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after an investigation into a worker’s injury that occurred last June.

Responding to a June 22, 2016 incident at the site where a 27-year-old worker severed a finger on a pneumatic bench cutter while cutting rubber material, agency inspectors found four repeated, six serious, and three other-than-serious violations of machine safety procedures. The company failed to adjust light curtains on the machine, used to protect the hands of workers from the equipment’s moving parts, OSHA said in a Dec. 28 press release.

The incident is the facility’s second debilitating injury involving an employee in under 18 months, the agency noted. Lauren Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Lauren International, produces molded and extruded polymer solutions and other products from silicone, thermoplastics, and various specialty polymers.

“Companies need to evaluate safety procedures to protect employees from injuries on the job,” said Larry Johnson, OSHA area director in Columbus, OH, in a statement. “Particularly, they need to take a hard look at machinery operations and how workers are trained on safety.”

The agency determined the company allowed temporary workers to use machinery without training them on “lockout/tagout” procedures isolating energy to operating parts during maintenance and service; Neglected to develop and put into use lockout/tag out procedures and inspect the efforts, failed to provide protective footwear or “adequate” personal protective equipment to protect workers from burns; and exposed workers to live electrical contacts.

“The latest incident continues the company’s history of preventable worker injuries and safety violations,” the agency said in a press release announcing the latest citations. “In January 2016, OSHA cited Lauren for lack of machine safety procedures after a worker’s arm was crushed in a hydraulic mold press. The agency cited the company for four safety violations in that case.”

The most recent indecent prompted OSHA to place the company in the agency’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program. The company has 15 business days from the issue date of the citations to comply with the penalties, schedule a conference with an OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, an independent organization.

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