OH Plastic Bag Company Fined for Lack of Safety Precautions

Ashland, OH – OSHA has placed a plastic bag manufacturing company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program after a worker suffered a partial amputation.

The Agency found numerous serious and repeat violations of machine safety procedures at Liqui-Box Corp., following an investigation into the incident that led to the injury.

Kim Nelson, OSHA area office director in Toledo, Ohio, said that hundreds of workers are injured every year in manufacturing facilities because employers fail to follow machine safety procedures. He added, “This company exposed an employee to serious injury by failing to take the necessary and well-known safety precautions.”

An employee clearing a jam on a bag sealing machine suffered a partial amputation of his thumb, according to the agency. Liqui-Box Corp. failed to train employees on lockout/tagout procedures and neglected to complete required annual audits of safety processes.

Since 1989, OSHA has required the use of machine-specific lockout/tagout procedures for each piece of equipment that fails to meet all eight elements of the criteria outlined in 1910.147(c)(4)(i).

The purpose of machine specific lockout/tagout procedures is to guide an authorized employee through a sequential process that renders a piece of equipment or process safe in what is referred to as zero-energy-state.

Once the lockout-tagout procedures are followed by the authorized employee(s), service and maintenance can be performed on the equipment safely because all forms of energy are isolated and controlled by each individual person servicing the equipment.  In short, when it’s properly locked out, there’s no chance for an unexpected start-up to occur.

As a result of the citations, Liqui-Box Corp. now faces $155,208 in proposed penalties and 15 days to respond to OSHA’s findings.