SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Have You Recently Conducted Your Required Safety & Health Program Audits?
In every Safety Solutions article I try to write about
current issues that have important information for
our readers and especially to employers in the plastic
distribution and fabrication industry. The first thing
that I find when visiting a client’s worksite to conduct
a mock OSHA safety & health audit is that, although
the employer has a formal and written safety & health
manual, it has not been read. I find that the owners,
managers, supervisors, and especially the employees,
have not read the information that is in this important
In a high percent of sites that I have visited or conducted
expert witness work for, I found that rarely do my
clients know what that formal and written safety & health
manual contains. I typically find the following unsafe conditions:
PATERSON, NJ – After an investigation
by the U.S. Department of
Labor’s Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA), a New
Jersey plastics manufacturer facility
has been cited for exposing employees
to safety and health hazards at its
Paterson, New Jersey, facility. OSHA
proposed penalties of over
- Employees have not been properly trained or the
employer is not enforcing the information that is mandated
in their own safety & health written program or
- Machines are not properly safeguarded or the employees
are not using the machine guards that are on the
- Management is not ensuring that employees are following
OSHA mandated lockout & tryout procedures.
In 80% of my audits, the employer has failed to follow
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.147 LOTO standards by conducting
at least annually their required LOTO periodic
- Management is not ensuring that chemicals are properly
labeled and even worse, employers are allowing
employees to eat and drink on the factory floor.
- Employers are not testing their eyewash and showers
weekly and when I ask for the testing records, they usually
do not have them.
- Fire extinguishers are not inspected monthly.
- Employers have not properly trained their forklift operators
and have not recertified them at least every three
years. Most operators have never been trained in the
forklifts owners/operators manual.
Well it’s 2018 and most of these standards have been
in place since 1971. OSHA enforcement
is on the rise and penalties for
employers who do not follow the regulations
are higher than ever. Here is
some information on just two of the
latest plastic related companies that
OSHA recently visited.
Do you have that kind of money to
pay for citations for not following
OSHA inspected the plastics manufacturer
on Oct. 2, 2017, in response
to a complaint alleging unsafe workplace
hazards, and imminent danger
conditions from blocked emergency
exits. A health inspection was also
conducted on Oct. 11, 2017, after an
inspector’s initial readings indicated
employee exposure to excessive
OSHA cited the employer for failing to administer a
hearing conservation program; exposing employees to
amputations, electric shock, and burns; allowing employees
to use equipment without proper guarding; failing to
control hazardous energy; and failing to train powered
industrial truck operators.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of
its citations and 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.
BELLEVUE, OH – The U.S. Department of Labor’s
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
cited a Bellevue-based plastics company for multiple safety
violations after an inspection found employees exposed
to fall, machine, and electrical hazards. OSHA proposed
penalties of over $261,000.
OSHA investigators determined that this employer,
which operates as a plastic services company exposed its
employees to crush injuries, burns, and fall hazards while
they conducted maintenance on plastic injection molding
presses. Inspectors cited the employer for failing to ensure
employees had adequate personal protective equipment
and clothing, and for permitting the use of damaged electrical
“Using proper safety controls, and removing damaged
devices from service can protect employees from exposure
to known hazards in the workplace,” said Kim Nelson,
OSHA Toledo Area Office Director.
Each of these citations that these companies received
could have easily been avoided. We have covered all of
these topics and they are available on www.plasticsmag
.com, click on Safety Solutions. We love to hear from readers
and I know that we can help you and your company
comply with these often sited violations.
If you would like an OSHA Mock Inspection, Podojil &
Associates, Inc. has over 45 years of direct OSHA experience
and can conduct an OSHA Mock Inspection of your
facility at an affordable price.
For more information, click on the author biography at the top of the page.