Pritchard, Alabama, lumber producer cited for
exposing workers to fall and amputation hazards
PRITCHARD, Ala. – An inspection initiated in June 2014 by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that workers at PJ Lumber Co. were exposed to falls, amputations and other hazards. The company, which manufactures finished lumber products for resale, has been cited for 13 serious safety and health violations found at the company's lumber mill on Stephens Road in Pritchard. Proposed penalties total $50,085.
"PJ Lumber has created an unacceptable work environment at this lumber mill and has shown a complete disregard for its workers' health and safety," said Joseph Roesler, director of OSHA's Mobile Area Office. "Employees are subjected daily to multiple hazards, including electrocution, falls, hearing loss and dangerous, unguarded machine parts."
The serious violations were cited for missing handrails on stairways, amputation hazards from exposed moving machinery parts and exposure to high noise levels without an effective hearing protection plan. The employer failed to provide written procedures to prevent machinery startup during servicing and maintenance and failed to remove forklifts from use when in need of repair. The employer did not require employees to wear seat belts while operating forklifts. 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.
This company was previously inspected at the Pritchard lumber mill in 2001 and cited for machinery parts guarding, forklift safety and machinery energy control violations.
OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures. OSHA has also created an amputation prevention Web page at https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=3469.
PJ Lumber employs approximately 151 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and 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 agency's Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Alabama accounted for 84 of the 4,383 fatal work injuries reported in 2012. Additional details are available at http://bls.gov/iif/home.htm.
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 department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).