Understanding the Insurance Needs of Plastics Manufacturing

  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the plastics industry employs over 1.1 million workers in the United States. Plastic, along with glass and paper products, are major industries that provide packaging for a variety of products sold in every type of store or business. There are safety concerns in the plastics industry, ranging from the manufacturing of raw materials to the actual processing of the plastics.

    Health Hazards

    Plastic, when heated in the manufacturing process, produces fumes, which may severely irritate the lungs, eyes and nasal mucosa of anyone being exposed to them. In some cases the effects are chronic and irreversible.

    Fume Control

    There are many safety measures that can be taken to ensure that accidental exposure to these toxic fumes does not occur. Measures to reduce risks include:

     

    • Regular maintenance of the processing plant and
    • Adhering to the recommended temperatures.

     

    Incorrect melting temperatures can produce toxic fumes, especially when new materials are being used.

    Fire Prevention

    Many of the materials used in the plastics industry are highly flammable and present a fire hazard. Expandable polystyrene (EPS) bead, for example, contains an extremely flammable gas, the fumes becoming prevalent during storage or transportation. Factory fires have been the direct result of the accidental ignition of leaking gas. Safety precautions around EPS bead include:

     

    • Not smoking anywhere near where the substance is being stored or used.
    • Heaters used (primarily in winter) should be checked because they pose a risk of igniting the EPS bead.

     

    For these reasons alone it is important that any business owner engaging in the manufacturing of plastic products should have proper insurance coverage to protect the workers as well as the business.

    These range from:

     

    • Product Liability
    • Property insurance
    • Equipment Breakdown
    • Business Interruption
    • Manufacturers Consequential Loss
    • Property in Transit
    • Specialty Equipment
    • Crime, and
    • Commercial Auto

     

    Property and liability coverage can be tailored, in many instances, to include:

     

    • Manufacturer's Selling Price
    • Consequential Loss Assumption
    • Interdependent Property Coverage
    • Product Recall Expense



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