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Safety Failures Led to Pet Product Maker Employee's Severe Burns from Molten Plastic

An injection nozzle dislodged and sprayed molten plastic into the face of one worker.

Osha
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The Department of Labor found that Doskocil Manufacturing Inc., a global manufacturer and distributor of pet products in Texas, committed one willful violation and eight serious violations of required safety regulations following an investigation into an employee's severe facial burns in December 2023.  

OSHA inspectors learned that three workers at Doskocil Manufacturing Inc., operating as Petmate, were using a pry bar to break off excess plastic, called drool, as they cleaned a structural foam machine when an injection nozzle dislodged and sprayed molten plastic into the face of one worker.

The employee suffered second-and third-degree burns. The company faces $278,851 in proposed penalties.

OSHA investigators cited the company for failing to do the following:

  • Isolate energy sources to protect workers from serious injuries
  • Develop safety procedures for safe cleaning and maintenance of machinery
  • Ensure walkways and working areas are free of slipping hazards to prevent slips and falls
  • Provide eye protection for workers using structural foam machines

Founded in 1959, the company is now owned by Platinum Equity, a global investment firm. The company makes and distributes a range of pet products, including bedding, kennels, dog houses, feeding and watering products, litter maintenance products, toys, collars, leads and travel equipment under Chuckit!, Pet Qwerks, Healthy Chews, Gamma2, JW, La-Z-Boy and other brands. 

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.

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