On June 8, OSHA issued citations to PhytogenX Inc. for four willful and six serious violations and fined the company $285,300 for hazards at its Morgantown, Pa. facility.

On Dec. 10, 2015, OSHA initiated an inspection after PhytogenX notified the agency that a worker had a finger amputated by a machine. The inspection also was in response to a separate complaint alleging hazards related to the storage and handling of flammable liquids at the cosmetic manufacturer.

“PhytogenX did not uphold its legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace by exposing employees to serious fire hazards, and not training them to recognize warning signs or special precautions required when working with flammable liquids,” said Kevin Kilp, area director of OSHA’s Harrisburg office. “An employee needlessly suffered the loss of a fingertip, which is something that could have been prevented through basic machine safeguards. This company must immediately address the cited hazards to avoid further incidents from occurring.”

The willful violations involved improper storage and handling of flammable liquids. The agency found serious violations when PhytogenX:

  • Improperly stored, transferred and processed flammable liquids.
  • Exposed employees to fall and forklift hazards.
  • Failed to properly guard a filling machine, which caused the amputation.
  • Failed to provide fire extinguisher and hazards of flammable liquid training.
  • Failed to develop and implement a written hazard communication program.

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with Kilp or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.