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Region 4


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Region 4 News Release: 10-1272-ATL (546)
Sept. 22, 2010
Contact: Michael D'Aquino Michael Wald
Email: D'Aquino.Michael@dol.gov Wald.Michael@dol.gov
Phone: 404-562-2076 404-562-2078

Thomson, Ga., paper manufacturer cited by US Labor Department's OSHA
for willful, serious safety violations following amputation of worker's fingers

THOMSON, Ga. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited McDuffie Box Co. Inc. in Thomson for alleged safety violations. Penalties total $47,550.

OSHA began its inspection in March after receiving a complaint concerning improper machine guarding that caused an employee to lose several fingers on one hand. The complaint also addressed the issues of no emergency stops on machines, slip hazards, lack of forklift training and inoperable horns on forklifts.

The company is being cited with one willful safety violation with $42,000 in proposed penalties for failing to develop specific lockout/tagout procedures for accidental energy start-up regarding several machines in the facility. A willful citation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The facility is also being cited with nine serious violations with $5,550 in proposed penalties. The violations concern exposing employees to amputation hazards, improper storing of cylinders that create struck-by hazards and several electrical deficiencies.

"This injury could have been prevented if the employer implemented OSHA standards for lockout/tagout procedures," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Management knew what the standard is and failed to make the required change to protect its workers."

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Area Office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga. 30084; telephone 770-493-6644. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (321-6742).

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 assure 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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