Fatality Brings Safety Fines for PPG

Friday, January 24, 2014 @ 12:01 PM gHale

PPG Industries, an optical and specialty material manufacturer, is facing $69,000 in fines after a fatality occurred at the company’s Barberton, OH, facility, according to officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

A worker ended up caught in an unprotected spindle winder on July 15, resulting in the employee’s death. PPG Industries employs 160 people at the Barberton facility and has 39,000 total employees.

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“It’s unacceptable that PPG Industries failed to ensure adequate machine guards were in use and that the equipment was properly deenergized,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “Companies must implement safeguards, create a culture of safety and ensure OSHA regulations are followed to ensure that no employee is injured or killed on the job.”

OSHA issued one willful citation for failure to ensure there was machine guarding to protect the operator and other employees working in the machine area from its hazards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for, or plain indifference to, employee safety and health.

Additionally, OHSA issued two serious citations to PPG Industries for failure to utilize lockout/tagout procedures and ensure equipment was deenergized prior to doing servicing/maintenance of equipment. The company also failed to conduct periodic inspections of authorized employees on lockout/tagout procedures. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

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