News Release USDL: 96-43
Friday, February 9, 1996
Contact: Deborah Page Crawford (202) 219-8151
OSHA And Florida Pulp Mill Settle Citations For
Violations Of Safety And Health Regulations
Stone Container Corp. has agreed to pay
$690,000 in penalties and to implement
improvements at facilities in nine states
as a result of an April 13, 1994, accident.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) proposed the penalties following its
investigation into the accident that killed three
employees and injured five others.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for
Occupational Safety and Health Joseph A.
Dear said, "We are pleased that Stone Container
has agreed to settle this matter, and to
aggressively address all causes of the accident.
"The agreement avoids the cost and burden
of possible prolonged litigation and furthers
the efforts of both OSHA and Stone Container to
assure safe workplaces for all its employees
The Panama City, Fla., pulp mill was cited
Sept. 30, 1994, for alleged violations of OSHA
standards. The employees were injured and killed
when a wood chip pulp digester ruptured and the
resulting release of pressure blew the digester
300 feet up through and beyond the mill roof.
Workers were exposed to flying debris and hot wood
pulp. OSHA's proposed penalty was $1,072,000.
In addition to paying the settlement penalty,
the company has agreed to continue its new practices
relating to the inspection, maintenance, repair and
alterations to the digesters corporate-wide. All
pressure vessels in Stone Container's facilities
will be inspected, maintained, repaired, altered,
and measured in accordance with the National Board
Inspection Code (NBIC), and to the extent required
by the NBIC, the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel code.
Alterations and repairs will be approved by an
authorized inspector when required by the NBIC.
Stone Container employs 600 workers at the
site who manufacture pulp and liner board.
The workers are represented by the United
Paperworkers International Union, the
International Association of Machinists,
the International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers and the Office Professional Employees
In addition to Panama City, Fla., Stone Container has
facilities in Coshocton, Ohio; Florence, S.C.; Hodge, La.;
Hopewell, Va.; Missoula, Mont.; Ontonagon, Mich.; Port Wentworth,
Ga.; and Snowflake, Ariz.