PARIS, Ill. (WTHI) - A local manufacturer has been cited for over $85,000.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited North American Lighting in Paris, Illinois.
FULL RESPONSE FROM NORTH AMERICAN LIGHTING
"North American Lighting (NAL) is cooperating with OSHA and will meet with them regarding the citations administered. This was a serious accident, but to clarify there was no explosion at the Paris facility. A Team Member removed standard safety glasses to look inside the hopper area of a molding machine not realizing pressure had built up and created a blowback of melted plastic. The Team Member was not aware others had not followed proper machine protocol which created the pressure. An ambulance arrived on the scene to transport the Team Member to the hospital. NAL did receive a lockout/tagout violation on a different piece of equipment in the assembly department back in 2019. This recent incident was very different than the accident in 2019, and there are no other repeat violations other than lockout/tagout. Thankfully, the Team Member has returned to work, and NAL has implemented new counter measures including specific training to prevent a similar incident in the future. NAL is committed to the health and safety of our Team Members. -NAL company officials"
OSHA issued the citation after a technician suffered facial burns. The agency says pressurized material in a plastic molding machine exploded.
OSHA says its investigation found the Paris location lacked adequate machine safety procedures.
The company was also cited in 2019 for similar violations at the same facility.
You can find the full release from OSHA below:
"On Nov. 14, 2020, a master maintenance technician for a central Illinois lighting manufacturer suffered severe facial burns when pressurized material in a plastic molding machine exploded.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined North American Lighting Inc. lacked energy control procedures to protect workers during maintenance work, a process known as lockout/tagout. OSHA also found that the company failed to review and test its lockout/tagout procedures annually for effectiveness, and ensure employees used eye and face protection.
OSHA cited the company for one repeat violation and three serious violations of machine safety standards and requirements for personal protective equipment. The agency cited the company for similar violations in 2019 at the same facility, and proposed $85,826 in penalties. Lack of machine safety procedures is the fourth most frequently cited OSHA violation.
“Employers must ensure that machines and equipment are disabled before workers perform service and maintenance to prevent unexpected startup or release of hazardous energy and materials,” said OSHA Area Director Barry Salerno in Peoria, Illinois. “If North American Lighting took the time to implement and test the safety procedures, this serious injury could have been prevented.”
A subsidiary of the Koito Group of Tokyo, North American Lighting Inc. manufactures automotive lighting systems at eight facilities nationwide.
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.
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."