Region 2 News Release: 11-1086-NEW/BOS 2011-263
July 26, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Jamesville, NY, lumber mill
for 35 serious safety violations following worker's death
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited B&B Lumber Co. Inc. for 35 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards following the Feb. 7 death of a worker at the Jamesville sawmill.
The worker, who was changing the blades on an edging saw, was killed when another employee inadvertently started the saw. OSHA's inspection found that the saw's power source had not been locked out, as required by OSHA's hazardous energy control, or "lockout/tagout," standard. That standard mandates that machines be shut down and their power sources locked out before employees perform maintenance.
"This is exactly the type of needless and devastating occurrence that the hazardous energy control standard is designed to prevent," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "One unintended or unknowing turn of a machine's 'on' switch can end a worker's life in seconds. That's why effective lockout/tagout safeguards must be implemented and maintained at all times."
OSHA's inspection also identified several other unrelated hazardous conditions at the mill encompassing fall, electrical, machine guarding, ladder use and personal protective equipment hazards, as well as inadequate means of egress. Left uncorrected, they expose employees to the hazards of falls, electrocution, lacerations, amputation, being caught in moving machine parts and being unable to exit the workplace swiftly in the event of an emergency. B&B Lumber faces a total of $152,100 in proposed fines for these conditions.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Detailed information on OSHA's hazardous energy control standard, including an interactive eTool, is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy/index.html.
"One means of eliminating hazards such as these is for employers to establish an injury and illness prevention program in which workers and management continually work to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Syracuse Area Office; telephone 315-451-0808. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.