Petmate faces $279K in fines for safety violations at Texas plant

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Dive Brief:

The Department of Labor proposed $278,851 in penalties against Doskocil Manufacturing, operating as Petmate, on June 17 for safety violations at its arlington, Texas, facility.
The federal agency found that the plastic pet bowl and toy maker could have prevented a worker from suffering second and third-degree facial burns from a dislodged injection nozzle while cleaning a structural foam machine in December 2023.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found that the company failed to provide employees with or require eye protection when using the structural foam machines, according to the release. Petmate received the citation June 13 and has 15 days to comply or contest the findings.

Dive Insight:

Without protective eye or face gear when working on the machines, employees were exposed to hazards such as flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals or acids, according to the citation. The incident occurred on December 16, 2023, and OSHA conducted an investigation on December 19, 2023.

OSHA also found that Petmate failed to adequately protect employees from fall hazards higher than four feet from the ground when working on the structural foam machines, the Labor Department noted in the citation. 

The pet product maker did not develop safety procedures for machinery cleaning and maintenance, which can prevent employees from getting struck or caught in the machines as well as amputation. 

In total, OSHA cited Petmate for eight safety violations, including one that found the company intentionally did not document or utilize safety procedures at the Arlington facility, which ended up being the biggest proposed citation at $161,323.

“When proper safety processes and procedures are ignored, industrial workplaces can be dangerous and unforgiving for employees,” OSHA Area Director Timothy Minor in Fort Worth, Texas, said in a statement. “Petmate’s failures to comply with federal safety regulations exposed its employees to serious dangers, resulting in one worker suffering severe injuries.”

Petmate did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Petmate started its business in 1959 as Doskocil Manufacturing, producing and distributing pet supplies such as kennels, food storage, bedding and other accessories. Investment firm Platinum Equity acquired the company for an undisclosed amount in September 2021.


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