WV Sawmill Faces Repeat Safety Fines

Monday, September 26, 2016 @ 12:09 PM gHale

Wayne Lumber and Mulch Inc. is facing $214,633 in fines for 27 safety violations at its Wayne, WV, sawmill, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigators issued the company three willful, nine repeat, 12 serious and three other-than-serious violations on Sept. 2, 2016.

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On April 13, OSHA conducted an inspection as a follow up to a March 2014 inspection and inspectors cited the employer for willful violations due to its failure to properly guard a chop saw and provide standard railing and handrails.

The agency issued repeat citations for:
• A lack of an effective hazard communication training plan
• Exposing employees to electrical hazards, inadequate machine guarding, lack of a conveyor or exhaust system to remove combustible sawdust and shavings
• Failing to have lockout/tagout procedures in place to prevent accidental machine start-up or movement
• Allowing buildup of combustible materials
• Failing to provide leg protection

OSHA cited Wayne Lumber and Mulch previously for the same violations in a 2014 inspection.

Inspectors also identified several serious violations, and the agency issued serious citations for:
• Exposing workers to crushing and rollover hazards while operating machinery without manufacturer-installed seatbelts
• Failing to provide employees with protection from falls up to 10 feet above the ground
• Not providing proper eye, hand and flashback protection, and barriers and warning signs
• Allowing hazards in the area where mulch was stored
• Permitting operation of a chainsaw without a manufacturer-approved chain catch
• Failing to pressure test repaired acetylene and oxygen burning torches before use
• Allowing workers to use damaged welding cables
• Failing to ensure a moving vehicle was equipped with an audible warning signal
• Electrical equipment not used in accordance with included instructions

In addition, the agency issued other-than-serious citations to Wayne Lumber for its failure to report an employee amputation injury to OSHA, provide educational training program for employees on firefighting and fire extinguisher use, and to place a valve protection cap on an acetylene bottle.

“By all indications, Wayne Lumber and Mulch failed to take the violations we found in 2014 seriously. The fact that many of these hazards existed again — and the addition of nearly 30 new violations– tells us this employer is willing to jeopardize the safety of its workers,” said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA’s Charleston Area Office. “In 2015, an employee suffered a fingertip amputation due to lack of machine guarding. Without taking immediate action to ensure a safe workplace, more workers could be injured or worse.”