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Machine Guard & Lockout Failures Lead to $133K in Fines for GA Recycler

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Gainesville, GA – Amputation hazards due to missing machine guards, lack of PPE, and failure to implement a lockout/tagout program have all been found at a Georgia recycling facility, leading to more than $133,443 in proposed OSHA fines. Nemo Plastics Inc. has received citations for 21 serious and three other-than-serious OSHA violations.

machine guarding recycler lockout

Machine guards and machine guarding refers to a shield or device that covers the hazardous areas of a machine. These guards prevent contact between the machine’s moving parts and a worker’s body or extremities. Machine guards can also be used to control the exit of debris or noise from a machine.

Machine guarding protects employees while operating a particular piece of machinery, or while working near industrial equipment and machines.

Nemo Plastics Inc. is based in Atlanta and handles more than 75 million pounds of post-industrial and post-consumer materials each year.

OSHA’s investigation found that Nemo did not provide employees personal protective clothing and failed to implement a hazardous energy control program that would prevent machinery start-up during service and maintenance work. Equipment specific lockout procedures are required by OSHA for each piece of equipment. These lockout/tagout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, helping to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.

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