Sept. 15, 2014
Over 40 safety and health violations found at Wayne Lumber and Mulch Inc.
WAYNE, W. Va. – Wayne Lumber and Mulch Inc. continues to expose employees to willful, repeat and serious safety and health hazards at the company's sawmill in Wayne. The employer faces $85,080 in proposed penalties following two investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA conducted a planned safety inspection in March 2014 as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program on Amputations. During this inspection, investigators noted high noise levels in the mill and made a referral for a second health inspection, which OSHA conducted in July.
"This company violates safety and health standards and put its employees at risk of serious injuries and hearing loss over and over again. OSHA will not tolerate this type of blatant disregard for worker safety," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office. "Employers like Wayne Lumber and Mulch will be held legally accountable when they fail to provide a safe and healthy workplace."
Two willful violations, with a $17,600 penalty, were cited for failing to check fire extinguishers annually and not maintaining them for emergencies. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Six repeat violations were cited, including additional violations for failing to inspect fire extinguishers regularly. The company did not have a collection system to remove combustible sawdust and shavings from work areas, and floors were not maintained properly. Another violation was cited for an elevated mill platform that was not equipped with a stairway. Other violations were cited for the company's failure to develop and implement a hazard communication program and train employees on hazardous materials in the workplace. These violations carried a $21,120 penalty. The company was previously cited in 2011 for similar violations. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Thirty-one serious violations, with a $45,920 penalty, related to noise, electrical, fall, egress and amputation hazards, and the failure to guard equipment properly; provide personal protective equipment; establish an energy control program for performing service and maintenance on equipment; and train and evaluate workers on operating powered industrial trucks.
Among the serious violations, OSHA cited the company for a violation of the agency's general duty clause for drop starting a chainsaw. 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.
Five additional safety and health violations were cited, including one for failing to maintain the OSHA Form 300, which logs all work-related injuries and illnesses. This carried a $440 penalty.
Wayne Lumber and Mulch processes logs for material used in coal mines and employs 14 workers at its Wayne sawmill. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the Charleston Area Office at 304-347-5937.
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.
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Release Number: 14-1658-PHI (osha 14-077)
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