Cosmetic Maker Cited $285K After Finger Amputation

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By Leslie A. Pappas

June 13 — A growing cosmetic manufacturer in Berks County, Pa. is facing $285,300 in fines for safety violations after the tip of a worker's finger got cut off by an unguarded bottle-filling machine.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued two citations to PhytogenX Inc., of Morgantown, Pa., after the company reported the accident, OSHA said June 13. Safety investors also responded to a separate complaint about unsafe storage of flammable liquids, OSHA said.

The company disagrees with the citations and plans to appeal, PhytogenX President Julie Knox told Bloomberg BNA in a phone call June 13. She did not elaborate.

The company received one citation for $6,300 in response to the amputation accident. A Colton-Hope two-headed bottle filling machine without safety guards cut off the tip of a worker's finger on Dec. 8, 2015, according to the citation dated June 8. A second citation dated June 8 proposed $279,000 in penalties for violations ranging from platforms that exposed workers to falling hazards, hazardous storage of isopropyl alcohol, lack of proper drainage systems, and failure to train employees on the hazards of working with chemicals.

The company moved into the Morgantown facility in 2015 when it outgrew its original facility, increasing the number of employees from 58 to 70 people, according to an online post by the Greater Reading Economic Partnership, a nonprofit that promotes business development in Berks County, Pa.

The company has 15 days from the date of citation to respond.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie A. Pappas in Philadelphia at lpappas@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

For More Information

The citations are here http://src.bna.com/fP5 and here http://src.bna.com/fQb