Safety Fines for MS Sawmill

Monday, September 7, 2015 @ 11:09 AM gHale

Tallahatchie Lumber and Mat Co. Inc. is facing $78,800 in fines for one willful, 22 serious and four other-than-serious safety citations at its Charleston, MS, sawmill, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA initiated the investigation as part of its National Emphasis Program on Amputations.

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The willful citation was for not ensuring safety devices ended up used to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing.

The serious violations relate to the employer failing to ensure workers followed safety procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing; exposing workers to unguarded machinery, not providing safety rails on staircases and platforms, and exposing workers to fire and explosion hazards due to combustible dust accumulation.

“A machine that starts up while a worker is maintaining is a serious safety risk, one that could send a worker to a hospital, yet Tallahatchie management made no efforts to ensure workers were protected,” said Eugene Stewart, OSHA’s area director in Jackson. “There is no excuse for an employer to disregard the safety and health of its employees and put them at risk of death and serious injury. We are looking for immediate action from the company to address these hazards.”