Mississippi recycling company cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA
for willful and serious violations following worker's double amputation
VERONA, Miss. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Triple P Farms Inc. for four safety violations. OSHA opened an inspection in February after an incident in which a worker had both legs amputated when his foot got caught in a baling machine as he attempted to clear cardboard that had jammed in the machine at MTD Products in Verona.
"These amputations could have been prevented if the company had been following proper safety procedures," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's area director in Jackson. "A lockout/tagout program should have been in place for equipment like the baling machine, in order to protect workers from serious injury or death."
One willful violation was cited for failing to develop an energy control program for employees performing servicing and maintenance on equipment. 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.
Three serious violations include failing to provide energy control training; failing to certify that each forklift operator had been trained and evaluated; and allowing the fixed stairs' height and width to be uneven. 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.
The worker was employed by Triple P Farms to perform waste disposal and recycling. Triple P Farms was assigned as a contractor to MTD Manufacturing. Triple P Farms is a recycling company located in Glen, Miss. MTD Manufacturing was not cited for any OSHA violations.
Proposed penalties total $73,500. Triple P Farms, which recycles corrugated cardboard, plastics and wooden pallets, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by OSHA's Jackson Area Office, 100 W. Capitol St., Suite 749, Jackson, Miss. 39269; telephone 601-965-4606. 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.