Wilmington, Delaware, manufacturer exposes workers to potentially explosive combustible dust, other safety and health hazards

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OSHA fines Franklin Fibre-Lamitex Corp. more than $86K

Employer's name: The investigation was conducted at Franklin Fibre-Lamitex Corp., doing business as Franklin Fibre. The precision parts manufacturer is located at 903 East 13th Street in Wilmington, Delaware.

Date citations issued and what prompted inspection: On July 14, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued one willful, 10 serious and one other-than-serious safety and health citations. OSHA initiated the inspection in response to a complaint alleging hazards at the facility.

Investigation findings: Franklin Fibre was cited for the accumulation of combustible dust in the work area resulting from the failure to operate and maintain a properly functioning dust-collection system. In addition, employees working in areas with the potential for a combustible dust fire were not provided with flame-retardant clothing. Inspectors also cited the company for hazardous electrical conditions, and exposing workers to amputation hazards due to improper machine guarding.

Quote: 'People hear the word 'dust' and they don't think 'deadly' - but under the right circumstances, a combustible dust explosion can level a building. The machines at this facility generated the kind of dust that can cause a fatal, destructive explosion,' said Erin G. Patterson, director of OSHA's Wilmington Area Office. 'It's critical that Franklin Fibre remove this hazard before a tragic incident occurs.'

Proposed penalties: $86,800

View the citations:

http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/FranklinFibreLamitexCorporation_1016579_1018239.pdf*

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, losses of an eye, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Wilmington Area Office at 302-573-6518.

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