Earlier this month, a tank collapsed at EveryWare Global, a Lancaster glass making plant, with people inside of it. Contract workers were making repairs to the tank, which hadn’t been used “for some time,” according to the first responders on the scene. Two men escaped unharmed, but a 52-year-old lost his life. It was never confirmed, but investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are expected to conduct an investigation.
The business remained open that day, to the surprise of employees. One ex-employee, who repaired the glassmaking tanks for 30 years, says the tanks constantly need maintenance as the extreme heat and constant use deteriorates the tanks and makes them unsafe. The worker said it is a very dangerous job if the workers are not properly trained.
This is Not EveryWare Global’s First Run-In With OSHA
As it turns out, EveryWare Global has a long history with OSHA. The company, formerly known as Anchor Hockings, has thousands in OSHA penalties accumulated over the last 16 years of operating. In December of last year, the company failed to provide hand protection to its employees. Given it is a glass making plant that deals with high heat and sharp surfaces, it is unacceptable that employees are not provided with the correct gear. OSHA fined the company $6,600.
There were two other OSHA violations from another Everyware Global facility in June and August last year, both of which accused the company of not providing proper guards to the machinery. This disregard for safety standards directly puts workers at risk for amputations and death. The fines amounted to a total of $10,000.
In 2013, Everyware Global was cited for more $77,800 in fines related to equipment protection (or lack thereof) and nine serious safety violations.
EveryWare Global Must Restructure Their Safety Program and Comply with OSHA Safety Standards
Glass making plants can be a dangerous place to work when OSHA safety standards are not implemented and enforced. Employees are at risk for respiratory hazards, burns from hot furnaces, lacerations from all the sharp surfaces, amputations from improperly guarded machines and physical stress from uncomfortable positions they must remain in. That said, companies such as EveryWare Global have a responsibility to do everything the company can to protect its workers.
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