CHICAGO, IL – A Chicago manufacturer of rigid metal, plastic, and hybrid containers faces $503,380 in proposed penalties after inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded to four separate reports of workers suffering injuries at the facility.
As a result of its investigations, OSHA cited BWAY Corporation for five repeated and five serious safety violations of machine safety procedures, and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. In the past five years, 15 workers suffered amputations at the Chicago plant.
“Lack of machine safety guards and procedures contribute to multiple employee injuries nationwide each year,” said OSHA Area Director Kathy Webb, in Chicago. “Companies must continuously monitor their facilities, and review procedures and training to ensure employees are protected from machine hazards.”
OSHA found one employee suffered two broken bones in his hand after it was crushed by a piece of equipment. Three other employees suffered amputations from unguarded chain and sprocket assemblies.
The agency issued repeated citations for failing to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures that prevent unintentional machine movement, and inadequate machine guarding on a mechanical power press, belts and pulleys, and chains and sprockets. The five serious citations involve failing to lockout equipment prior to clearing jams and inadequate machine guarding on multiple pieces of equipment.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the company has 27 facilities and about 4,000 employees in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico – with about 500 employees in Chicago.
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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Chicago South Area Office at 708-342-2840.
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 ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.