Department of Labor Logo OSHA News Release - Region 5


March 1, 2024

US Department of Labor finds Wisconsin wood flooring manufacturer continues to expose workers to multiple hazards at plant

OSHA cites repeat offender for 38 violations, proposes $269K in penalties

 

LAONA, WI ‒ A Wisconsin hardwood flooring manufacturer continues to ignore federal safety and health regulations and expose workers to multiple hazards at its Laona mill, federal inspectors found.

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted an inspection at WD Flooring LLC under the agency's National Emphasis Program for amputation hazards on Sept. 5, 2023, and opened a concurrent health inspection that noted deficiencies in the employer's hearing conservation program and a lack of training and information provided to employees about hazardous chemicals in the workplace.

OSHA cited WD Flooring LLC for four repeat, 28 serious, and six other-than-serious violations, with a proposed penalty of $269,662.

Specifically, OSHA found WD Flooring failed to:

  • Use required lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Train workers in lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Install adequate guarding to protect workers from contact with operating machine parts on rollers, woodworking presses, upcut saws, chains, sprockets, belts, pulleys and shafts.
  • Protect workers from fall hazards.
  • Repair forklifts.
  • Operate forklifts safely.
  • Provide adequate personal protective equipment.
  • Protect workers from electrical hazards.
  • Implement a hearing conservation program, including training and hearing protection.
  • Record injuries in a timely manner.
  • Train employees on the hazards associated with chemicals in the workplace.

"Each year, hundreds of workers are injured in manufacturing facilities because their employer fails to implement machine safety procedures and train workers on safe operation," said OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton, Wisconsin. "In the last five years, OSHA has opened more than 960 inspections for amputation hazards at Wisconsin employers. All employers must evaluate their worksites and implement safety and health programs that protect workers and ensure a culture of safety on the job."

WD Flooring employs about 45 workers at its Laona facility.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and 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.

Learn more about OSHA and the National Emphasis Program for amputation hazards.

 

Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-4727, allen.scott@dol.gov
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-4807, burke.rhonda@dol.gov

Release Number: 24-421-CHI