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OSHA Fines Plastic Recycler $88K for Combustible Dust Hazards

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Company had been cited five times before.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) initiated two inspections at PGA Inc. on Sept. 2, 2021, after receiving a referral from the Freeland Borough’s Office of Code Enforcement alleging employees there were exposed to combustible dust and other workplace safety and health hazards.

The OSHA inspection cited PGA Inc. for one willful, seven serious, and one other-than-serious safety and health violations for both inspections. The agency found the workplace hazards included the company permitting dangerous amounts of combustible dust to build up on surfaces that possibly could ignite due to open electrical equipment in the area. OSHA previously cited the company five time for some of the same violations in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2020. Proposed penalties from the latest inspection total $88,423.

“Combustible dust can burn rapidly and explode with little warning, putting workers at risk for severe injury or death,” said OSHA area director Mary Reynolds in Wilkes-Barre, PA. “PGA Inc.’s continued failure to implement effective controls to prevent the accumulation of combustible dust will not be tolerated.”

PGA Inc. provides plastic recycling services in Northeast PA and surrounding states.

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