Worker Finger Amputation Leads to $137K in Fines for Missouri Glass Plant

September 20, 2013

Piramal Glass USA Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 21 safety and health violations after a worker lost a finger while repairing a machine at the Park Hills, Mo., manufacturing plant on March 14. Proposed penalties total $137,400.

Prior to maintenance, the machine was not isolated from its energy source, OSHA said.

One repeat violation, which was previously cited in October 2010, involves improperly mounting metallic receptacle boxes to a firm surface. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Thirteen of the serious violations were safety-related, including lack of e-stop devices on lathes, grinding, drilling and milling machines; failing to equip a lathe with a foot-operated guarding device; and unguarded floor holes and missing railings.

Several additional safety violations relate to OSHA’s lockout/tagout standards, such as failing to complete periodic audits, secure lockout/tagout devices with duct tape, follow adequate procedures and provide production workers with lockout devices and training on isolating energy sources to a bottle-making machine.

Five serious health violations involve failing to develop and implement a noise monitoring program; exposing workers to noise exposure levels above the time-weighted average; failing to ensure the use of hearing protection; lack of personal protective equipment and barrier guards to protect workers from excessive heat exposure; and failing to maintain clean and dry floors in work rooms.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Additionally, two other-than-serious violations include failing to identify machinery on periodic audit records and inspect fire extinguishers. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

The current citations may be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Piramal_902373_0912_13.pdf and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Piramal_899121_0912_13.pdf.

Piramal Glass, headquartered in Park Hills, also operates facilities in Mays Landing and Williamstown, N.J., as well as in India and Sri Lanka. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and notice of proposed penalties to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA

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