In the August 09, 2021, edition of Plastics News, there was a Special Report: Workplace Safety titled “A Look Into Workplace Deaths and the Aftermath” discussing the number of deaths in plastics processing factories based upon a review of OSHA records from 2011 through 2020 that showed, at least, 60 people died in industrial accidents in the plastics processing industry. The report describes three incidents in three different plants at three different companies – one incident involved a worker that was pulled into a machine and crushed to death, in another incident another worker was pinned between sections of a thermoforming machine, and yet a third incident involved a worker that was electrocuted. The overall cause of all the events was the lack of an adequate lockout/tagout (try-out) program to control hazardous energy. It was not discussed as to whether or not the companies had the lockout/tagout program in place with the workers trained appropriately or if the culture at the companies was that of leaning more to production of product instead of safely producing a product.
In the same August 09, 2021, publication, there were two or three other articles on safety issues and incidents at other plastics industry facilities. While the number of deaths in the plastics industry may seem low yet fluctuating, the number of nonfatal injuries does not seem to be going down based on a report published previously in the Plastics News in the August 10, 2020, issue.
For more information and/or assistance, contact:
Wayne Vanderhoof CSP, CIT
RJR Safety Inc.