OSHA Fines PA Recycler $88K for Combustible Dust Hazards  - Worksite Medical
Get Your Quote!

​The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) takes its job seriously.

Break the rules, and you can expect to face steep OSHA fines and penalties.

In severe cases, you could even face criminal charges.

Now, following an inspection of a Pennsylvania recycling plant, one company finds itself facing a series of OSHA fines.

Though no workers were injured, it’s a costly lesson in safety, nonetheless.


OSHA Fines Following A Tip


OSHA initiated two inspections on Sept. 2, 2021, after receiving a tip from the Freeland Borough’s Office of Code Enforcement.

The tip claimed that employees at the recycling center, which provides plastic recycling in Northeast Pennsylvania and surrounding states, were exposed to combustible dust, along with other health and safety hazards.

During the inspection, OSHA found that the company permitted dangerous amounts of combustible dust to build up on surfaces. Due to open electrical equipment, the dust could combust at any time.

In the end, the plant was cited with one willful, seven serious, and one other-than-serious violations.

And, it’s not the first time the company has faced OSHA fines, either.

They were previously cited for the same violations in 2014, 2016, 2016, 2018, and 2020.

The proposed OSHA fines for the most recent citations total $88,423.


Combustible Dust Hazards 


Any combustible material can quickly burn in a finely powdered form, such as dust.

Under the right concentrations, this dust can even be explosive when suspended in air.

Even materials that don’t normally burn in a higher concentration, such as aluminum or iron, can explode when hanging in the air.

The force from such a blast can cause employee deaths, injuries, and destruction of entire buildings.

“Combustible dust can burn rapidly and explode with little warning, putting workers at risk for severe injury or death,” said OSHA Area Director Mary Reynolds in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

“[This company’s] continued failure to implement effective controls to prevent the accumulation of combustible dust will not be tolerated.”


The Takeaways


Worker safety should always be your top priority.

When it’s not, all it takes is one accident or unexpected visit from inspectors to lead to major citations and OSHA fines.

Whether that’s using the proper PPE, respiratory protective gear, or filtering dangerous dusts from the air, you have a duty to protect your team.

It’s not one to take lightly.



About Worksite Medical


In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.

Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.

We conduct on-site respirator fit tests, as well as audiometric exams, pulmonary function tests and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.

With Worksite Medical, a mobile medical testing unit — we can bring all the resources of a lab to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.

Protect your team and your workplace now with Worksite Medical. Not sure what you need? Try our medical testing wizard here.

Give us a call at 1-844-622-8633, or complete the form below to schedule an on-site visit or to get your free quote!

Request a Quote or Schedule Your Testing