The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited PPG Industries Inc. for four safety violations, including one willful violation, at its resin production facility in Barberton, OH.
The willful violation—OSHA’s highest level of infraction—alleges operation of an unguarded winder machine at the specialty chemical plant, which produces optical products, precipitated silica and Teslin substrate.
|The willful violation alleges an unguarded winder machine in PPG’s Teslin facility. The substrate is produced in rolls that are 57 inches wide and up to 7,000 feet long.|
“Failing to ensure machine guarding is in place to protect workers from the point of operation puts employees at risk for injury and amputation hazards,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland.
“Employers have a responsibility to recognize the hazards that exist in their facilities, and take necessary precautions to protect workers' safety and health.”
Complaint Triggers Inspection
OSHA inspected the facility Sept. 26 after receiving a complaint alleging the use of an unguarded winder machine in the facility’s Teslin department; that inspection resulted in the citation for the willful violation.
OSHA defines a willful violation as one “committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.”
PPG Industries, the world’s No. 2 paint and coatings company, is also accused of three serious violations:
• Failing to lock out the energy sources of equipment before servicing or maintenance;
• Failure to have authorized personnel affix lockout/tagout devices on equipment; and
• Failure to ensure guards were affixed or secured to equipment.
A serious violation reflects “substantial probability” of death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
PPG’s Barberton plant began operation in 1900 as the company’s first chemicals site, producing soda ash for glassmaking operations. The site employs about 140 people.
PPG said in a statement Tuesday (Dec. 20) that it planned to review the citations through an informal conference with OSHA’s area director.
“PPG recognizes its responsibility to provide safe, healthful workplaces and to preserve and protect the global environment in which the company operates,” the statement said.
“To this end, we run our businesses using sound environment, health, safety and product stewardship practices, and we communicate with the public and support the communities in which we operate.”