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Keeping workers safe is a priority for the Plastics Industry Association.Every day 954,000 workers, including engineers, technicians and machinists, head to plastics facilities around the world to produce products that play major roles in our modern life, from helping to preserve food to serving as the basis for medical devices that save lives. These highly skilled workers, who serve one of the U.S.’s largest manufacturing sectors, are trained by employers who keep their employees’ safety top of mind. 

What role does the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) have in addressing worker health and safety? 

PLASTICS has a Worker Health and Safety Task Group of the EHS+ Committee, a group in which all members are invited to participate. Meetings are held three times a year, with interim conference calls as needed. 

Addressing Hot Topics

The EHS+ Committee’s Worker Health and Safety Task Group addresses topics including: 

  • Combustible dust 
  • Compliance assistance 
  • Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout; LOTO) 
  • Electrical safety 
  • Emphasis programs – national (NEPs), local and regional 
  • Enforcement 
  • Fall protection 
  • Hazard communication 
  • Health and safety programs 
  • Leading indicators of safety 
  • Machine guarding 
  • Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) 
  • Process safety management (PSM) 
  • Recordkeeping 
  • Workplace injuries and illnesses – prevention, statistics
  • See also Advocacy Regrind
Keeping Members Informed

Recent public news includes: 

Monitoring and Responding to Regulatory Issues 

Most plastics industry facilities are in states regulated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); others are under OSHA-approved State Plans administered by agencies in those states. PLASTICS monitors and responds to their initiatives, engaging with regulatory agencies and participating in the rulemaking process to meet the needs of our members. 

Plastics industry employees around the world are also impacted by countries’ adoption of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and its revisions; e.g., understanding related changes to product labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). 

Weighing In On Standards

PLASTICS engages with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on standards addressing the fundamentals of combustible dust and preventing incidents from activities with combustible particulate solids. 

Developing and Sharing Resources 

From members-only communications to webinars open to the industry, PLASTICS provides resources to assist with understanding regulations and facilitate sharing company programs and practices with the invaluable experience and expertise of workers in the industry. 

Safety Statistics & Awards

PLASTICS members are encouraged to participate in the Safety Statistics and Awards program.