The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the recycler of plastic bottles after a worker had four fingers amputated while working on a dust collector’s airlock system.
OSHA initiated an inspection in response to the incident under the agency's National Emphasis Program on Amputations.
PET fiber producer
Marglen Industries produces polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fiber using post-consumer recycled bottles and Letter of Non-Objection (LNO) food-grade resin for packaging ranging from food service to pharmaceutical.
OSHA’s proposed fines totally $69,300 include one wilful and one serious violation for the incident at the firm’s site in Rome, Georgia.
The wilful violation involves allowing employees to perform service and maintenance on the dust collector's airlock system without developing, documenting and using a specific lockout/tagout procedure for de-energizing the system.
The serious violation involves failing to train workers as required by the company's lockout/tagout program to ensure that they are able to recognize hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of the energy available in the workplace, and the methods necessary for isolating energy.
"Although the company has a lockout/tagout program, it was not implemented for this machine, resulting in serious injury to a worker," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office.
"It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that proper safety procedures are followed at all times."
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.