For more information, contact:

Marie Gargas
Senior Technical Director, Regulatory Affairs

Worker Health and Safety Resources

Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS)/OSHA Alliance

  • PLASTICS and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) entered into an alliance in 2002 to promote a safe and healthy work environment in plastics facilities. The Alliance was renewed three times before concluding in 2009. Over those years, the Alliance assisted in providing employers with information, guidance, and access to training resources to promote machine safety, specifically in identifying machinery hazards and providing potential solutions to reduce injuries, such as lacerations, burns, and amputations. In addition, the organizations worked together to raise awareness of hazard communication issues in the workplace. The goals of the Alliance included working with OSHA to provide expertise to develop training and education programs for plastic industry employers and employees, and to provide expertise in developing ways of communicating such information, for  machine guarding, lockout/tagout, and the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards


The PLASTICS/OSHA Alliance brought national recognition of the plastics industry's focus on improving workplace safety. On May 16, 2003, OSHA unveiled a web page developed as a product of the Alliance, noting that more than 1.5 million workers in the U.S. plastics industry stand to benefit from the new web page, OSHA Assistance for the Plastics Industry. This web page provides links to:

  • safety and health information about the plastics industry;
  • standards that apply to plastics processing;
  • information about hazards and solutions;
  • focused links to all tools developed under the Alliance.

Together, agency and industry Alliance Team representatives spoke, exhibited, and appeared at OSHA and PLASTICS conferences, such as NPE 2006, local meetings, and other events.

Products of the Alliance:

Machine Guarding eTool for Plastics Machinery. eTools are stand-alone, interactive, Web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. They are highly illustrated and utilize graphical menus. Because amputation is one of the more severe and crippling types of injuries in the occupational workplace, and often results in permanent disability, this eTool focuses on recognizing and controlling common amputation hazards associated with the operation and use of injection molding machines. This interactive eTool addresses the guidelines and safety measures for use in horizontal injection molding, and includes a detailed, interactive safety tour, potential hazards and solutions, lockout/tagout procedures and additional safety measures that can be taken to help reduce or prevent injuries resulting from inadequate machine guarding on complex plastics processing machines.

Machine Safety Training Tools. The Alliance Team produced Machine Safety training courses for Injection Molding, Thermoforming and Extrusion operations. These train-the-trainer courses focus on mutual concerns for injuries seen in specific plastics processing operations. The courses describe types of injuries seen; discuss the causes of these injuries; and describe the ways that employees can protect themselves by recognizing the hazards in the job they are doing, understanding the requirements for guarding machines, and implementing solutions for identified problems. The training modules not only consolidate all the critical information you need on machine guarding and lockout/tagout, but also prepare you to train employees at your worksite.

The Machine Safety for Injection Molding Machines Training Course consists of two PowerPoint modules.

The Machine Safety Training Course for Rollstock and Sheet Extrusion consists of two PowerPoint modules.

The Machine Safety Training Course for Roll-fed and Inline Thermoforming consists of two PowerPoint modules.

Please remember that these courses address machine guarding and lockout/tagout safety issues relating to plastics machinery operations. They do not cover everything you need to know about plant safety. Machine safety programs are only part of the effective safety and health management system at your plant. You may want to consider using OSHA's Safety and Health Management eTool, with what you learn in these courses to develop, refine or improve your company's goals for addressing safety and health in your workplace.