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OSHA Fines Bag Manufacturer $84K

Bancroft Bags Inc., West Monroe, LA, was cited for 16 serious violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to guard machinery and implement appropriate shut down procedures. The proposed penalties total $84,000.

OSHA initiated the April 2015 inspection after receiving notification from the employer that a printing press operator, who was trying to remove a gear from its shaft, had his hand pulled into the gears and his index finger amputated.

"The cost of implementing safety procedures is so low, and the cost of ignoring them is so high,” said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. “If Bancroft had implemented procedures to keep the press from starting up, this man would still have all 10 fingers. Instead he's suffered an injury that will affect him the rest of his life. This was a preventable injury and it's incumbent upon the employer to find and fix hazards that pose a threat to the safety and health of its workers."

A leading manufacturer of bags for pet food, fertilizers, and chemical product companies, Bancroft Bags employs about 400 workers at its West Monroe packaging plant. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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