OSHA visited this company because a worker had two fingers amputated while working on shearing machines. While the inspector was there, company officials said a second worker suffered an identical injury just days after the first one.
OSHA issued 22 violations (2 repeat, 18 serious, 2 other-than-serious) with a total of $141,100 in fines to Primex Plastics Corp. in Oakwood, GA.
Both workers had their middle and ring fingers amputated as they removed material jammed in the machine that cuts plastic.
OSHA issued citations for:
- failing to provide workers exposed to high temperatures with protective equipment (repeat)
- storing oxygen and acetylene cylinders together (repeat)
- failing to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards (serious)
- ignoring procedures to prevent machines from sudden start-up during maintenance and service (serious)
- failing to implement protections for workers exposed to excessive noise (serious)
- failing to ensure properly guarded machinery, such as shearing machines and a drill press (serious), and
- exposing workers to falls (serious).
Since 2005, Primex has had 14 OSHA inspections nationwide and has received 35 citations. The company also has facilities in Georgia, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Nevada. It employs more than 1,100 workers.
“Worker safety, not profits, must be a company’s priority,” said Bill Fulcher, OSHA’s director of the Atlanta-East Area Office.
Primex has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal OSHA conference or appeal to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
As of Jan. 1, 2015, companies under OSHA jurisdiction must report all work-related amputations, inpatient hospitalizations and losses of an eye to OSHA within 24 hours. All work-related fatalities must be reported to OSHA within 8 hours.