NY Flooring Maker Cited for Safety Issues

Monday, July 23, 2018 @ 02:07 PM gHale

Fulton, NY-based Timberline Hardwood Floors is facing $182,917 in fines for willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Investigators found serious hazards that posed threats to workers during an inspection like failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures to prevent machines from unintentionally starting, not adequately training forklift operators, not repairing exposed electrical circuits and failing to develop hearing conservation and chemical hazard communication programs.

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OSHA also cited the company for allowing locked emergency exits, unguarded machines and unlabeled hazardous materials and chemicals.

“During this inspection, OSHA identified serious hazards that posed a threat to workers’ safety and health,” said Jeffrey Prebish, OSHA Syracuse, New York, area office assistant director. “Unfortunately, Timberline Hardwood Floors L.L.C. ignored its obligation to protect employees from these well-known issues.”

Company President and owner Tom Timberline said the company will contest the citations and fines. He said the proposed fines were excessive and that the citations involved “little things.”

“There’s definitely some gray areas when it comes to some of these citations,” he said.

For example, OSHA cited the company for having sawdust or wood chips on the floor, he said.

“We’re a lumber mill,” he said. “There’s no way to avoid that.”

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