One summer during college, I worked at a fruit packing plant. This was the 1980s, and in retrospect the safety precautions weren't really that great. As in the training was "turn on the machine here." The warning sticker on one piece of equipment was a very graphic depiction of fingers flying off.
Did I survive uninjured? Yes. But looking back, can I see the very troublesome aspects of untrained teenagers running a seasonal factory? Also yes.
Obviously the vast, vast, vast majority of plastics processors follow strict safety rules, but there are always exceptions. I've read too many reports on managers more interested in cutting corners and saving a few dollars than in keeping workers safe. There are also workers on shop floors who develop their own ways to ignore safety protocols that seem inconvenient. One CEO I know used to walk the shop floor and offer workers $20 if they could show him how they could "break" the operating rules. The workers weren't punished, but the systems were fixed.
This week Plastics News published its workplace safety special report detailing both violations and examples of companies working to improve safety. Those state and federal safety rules may seem petty at times, but they are important. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports show at least 60 people died working in plastics processing plants in the past 10 years. That's a statistic everyone should should pay attention to.