A Gerresheimer Glass manufacturing site ignored safety procedures, the US Department of Labor found.

A follow-up workplace safety inspection at Gerresheimer’s Chicago, USA production facility found the company continued to fail in its obligation to protect workers by training them in machine safety procedures.

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) returned to Gerresheimer Glass in Chicago Heights on January 31, 2024, to verify compliance after inspections in October and December 2022 found workers exposed to machine hazards.

OSHA proposed $145,415 in penalties after citing the company with one repeat violation and four serious violations for the following:

Not training each authorised employee performing and/or assisting with service and maintenance tasks, including mould changes on lines and bottle machines.

Failing to follow machine specific energy control procedures during a mould change.

Exposing workers to an unguarded chain and sprocket on a crusher machine.

Allowing employees to operate forklifts without required training.

Exposing workers to trip hazards from floor panels in poor repair.

OSHA Chicago South Area Director James Martineck, said: “Ignoring OSHA and industry-recommended machine safety procedures is a leading cause of injuries in the manufacturing industry.

“Workers must be trained in specific safety procedures for each machine they operate or service and they should never be exposed to operating machine parts.

"Employers are responsible for ensuring safe working conditions for all employees in their facilities.”

OSHA provides information on lockout/tagout and other machine safety procedures for use by employers to understand how to protect workers from potential safety and health hazards.

Headquartered in Germany, Gerresheimer has 35 production sites in 16 countries.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The Chicago Heights facility makes medical glass bottles and vials.

The plant produces moulded Type I flint glass. This includes serum bottles (finishes 13/16.5/20/32 mm), bottles with screw caps (various finishes), IV bottles (finishes 28/32 mm) and various other bottles made of moulded glass.