Glass Maker Faces Safety Fines

Friday, July 12, 2013 @ 06:07 PM gHale

Ardagh Glass Inc. is facing $77,000 in fines for one willful and one serious safety violation after a worker suffered a finger amputation and crushed hand while removing a glass mold from a bottle-shaping machine at the company’s facility in Warner Robins, GA, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA initiated an inspection in response to the incident under its National Emphasis Program on Amputations. Ardagh Glass specializes in glass and metal packaging for food and beverages and is a subsidiary of Ardagh Group in Tampa, Fla.

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The willful violation involves failing to develop and utilize lockout/tagout procedures when workers are performing service and setup operations on equipment. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The serious violation involves failing to ensure workers that operate equipment were protected to prevent contact at the point of operation with moving parts and molten glass. 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.

“The employer was fully aware that workers reached into the moving machine while they serviced the glass molds, yet nothing was done to protect workers from serious injury,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office. “It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that proper safety procedures are understood and followed at all times.”

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