Film Pak Extrusion LLC was cited for a dozen serious safety violations and at least one willful violation after employees were exposed to amputation hazards.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the plant’s inadequate machine guarding led to the willful violation. Unguarded industrial machinery can cause crushing injuries, lacerations and, most seriously, amputations. The citation carried a $56,000 penalty.
Hearing loss is one of the leading health complaints for industrial workers. If workers are regularly exposed to high noise levels, employers are required to implement a hearing conservation program and provide hearing protection. Film Pak, however, neglected to do so.
If hearing loss is detected early, management can take steps to address the condition before it becomes permanent. Unfortunately, the New Jersey manufacturer failed to monitor employee hearing through annual audiograms, so it was cited for that as well.
The Paterson facility racked up $34,300 in serious violations, which also included an obstructed exit route, lack of a lockout/tagout program and failure to maintain washing facilities. These may seem like small oversights, but maintaining an OSHA compliant workplace is one of the most effective ways of keeping workers safe.
Employee safety should be every employer’s first priority. When businesses cut corners, it is the workers who suffer.
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[Did You Know: Approximately 9,000 New Jersey workers were injured in the manufacturing industry in 2011.]
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