One company recently found itself grappling with nearly $16,000 in proposed penalties following an OSHA inspection.
The inspector alleged two violations involving improper handling of flexible intermediate bulk bags (FIBCs), also known as Super Sacks. However, the company was able to correct the problem by purchasing advanced bulk bag equipment designed to facilitate safe, cost effective handling.
OSHA has increased the maximum civil penalty for safety violations by almost 2% in 2020. On top of that, workplace injuries cost the U.S. economy at least $1 billion per week. Clearly, injury prevention is a major priority for all businesses, both for worker health and safety and for the company’s bottom line.
Let’s take a closer look at each violation and the equipment that was instrumental in resolving them.
Bulk Bag Lifting Adapters Enable Safe Transport
OSHA cited the company for improperly lifting an FIBC using a forklift. The operator lifted the bag by its lifting loops, directly on the fork tines, without using an approved attachment. This unsafe maneuver exposed employees to the hazard of the forklift tipping over or dumping the bag onto the ground.
To correct the problem, the company purchased a bag lifting adapter designed for moving the bag by forklift within the plant.
The BagLift 100-FA lets the operator attach the FIBC in a single step, rather than having to get on and off the forklift multiple times. It also reduces the risk that the fork tines will cut the lifting loops and cause the bag to fail. This advantage improves both safety and cost efficiency and enables the bag to be used more than once.
Bag Support System Permits Safe Untying and Discharge
The second citation involved an employee releasing materials from a bulk bag that was elevated above the hopper scale and employee. The employee was standing on a fixed ladder attached to the hopper scale while performing this maneuver.
A forklift operator was also observed dismounting from a forklift while the bulk bag was suspended above the hopper. Both of these violations created a hazard of being injured by the bag.
The company abated this hazard by installing a support system that provided safe access to the bottom of the bag when untying.
The BagFlo500 HT safely unloads bags up to 4,000 pounds using a hoist-and-trolley feed, with no forklift required. An easy-to-use access door and optional iris valve allow the operator to untie the spout without having to step under the bag. The access door enables dust-free discharge for added employee safety.
Investing in the correct bulk bag handling equipment was critical for ensuring safe operations in this case. When the OSHA inspector came back after the compliance period, the violations were dismissed, saving the company thousands of dollars in penalties.
Are you looking to improve safety and efficiency in your operations? Get in touch with FormPak today!
Click to view more details on these violations with identifying information removed: