Box Maker Faces Repeat Safety Fines

Friday, February 6, 2015 @ 04:02 PM gHale

Months after two employees suffered injured from dangerous machines, Burrows Paper Corp. again put workers at risk, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Headquartered in Little Falls, NY, Burrows Paper manufactures machine glaze and machine finish paper grades for use in medical and food packaging. The company operates four paper mills. Three are in New York and the fourth in Pickens, MS. Burrows’ packaging operations are in Franklin, OH and Mt. Vernon, OH; Fort Madison, IA; and Reno, NV.

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Acting on a complaint, OSHA found workers unjamming and servicing machines without proper safeguards during an Aug. 25 inspection. This is the fourth time in the past year Burrows received citations for hazards at its Franklin, OH, food box manufacturing facility.

OSHA has proposed fines of $122,500 for two repeated and two serious violations and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program for failing to correct safety deficiencies.

“How long will it take before Burrows Paper begins to value the safety and health of its employees? Injuries caused by these machines often end in disfigurement, disability or death, yet this company continuously fails to fix those problems,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “This is frustrating and inexcusable, and we promise that we’ll keep coming back until Burrows Paper learns that safety is nonnegotiable.”

OSHA’s most recent inspection found Burrows Paper had not developed procedures to ensure that the die-cutting machine and paper-sorting machine would not unintentionally operate during servicing or maintenance, a procedure known as lockout/tagout.

In July last year, OSHA cited the company after two employees suffered injuries in separate incidents. One of those injuries also involved machine hazards. OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer previously faced citations for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Two serious violations address Burrows Paper’s failure to verify the effectiveness of energy isolating procedures on the paper-sorting and die-cutting machines.

An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exits.

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