The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Heritage Plastics Inc. for exposing employees to amputations at the company’s facility in Picayune, Mississippi. The plastics manufacturer faces $159,118 in penalties, including a willful violation that carries the maximum penalty allowed.
An employee suffered the amputation of four fingers when the mixing machine from which the employee was removing material unexpectedly started. OSHA inspectors determined that Heritage Plastics failed to require the use of a lockout device and train employees on procedures to control the release of hazardous energy. OSHA also cited the employer for failing to install machine guarding. The inspection is part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations.”
“Proper safety procedures, including the effective lockout of all sources of energy, could have prevented this employee’s serious injury,” said OSHA Jackson Area Office Director Courtney Bohannon. “Employers must take proactive steps to develop and implement energy control procedures to minimize risk to their employees.”
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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance.