April 30, 2015
Workers exposed to amputation hazards at Clearwater Paper Neenah
OSHA cites 9 serious violations, proposes fines of $49K
Employer name: Cellu Tissue Neenah operating as Clearwater Paper Neenah
Investigation site: 249 North Lake Street, Neenah, Wisconsin
Date investigation initiated and what prompted inspection: On Dec. 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Appleton office initiated an inspection at Clearwater Paper Neenah under the National Emphasis Program for Amputations. The site was selected because equipment used at the paper mill can put employees at risk for such injuries. Amputation hazards are among the most frequently cited by OSHA.
Investigation findings: Investigators found Clearwater Paper Neenah failed to protect workers from operating parts of machinery by the using safety guards. The company also failed to develop procedures for the control of locking devices to prevent unintentional operation of machinery during service and maintenance. Both of these violations exposed workers to amputation hazards.
In total, OSHA issued nine serious safety violations. Other violations include:
- Lack of eye wash stations for worker's exposed to corrosive chemicals
- Lack of safety latches on crane hooks.
- Lack of guard rails which exposed workers to fall hazards over dangerous equipment
"OSHA inspectors found numerous machines operating without required safeguards and procedures to protect workers," said Robert Bonack, OSHA's area director in Appleton "Each year thousands of workers suffer lacerations, bruises, amputations and other serious injuries because these procedures are not in place and workers are not trained to recognize dangers. Clearwater Paper Neenah and its union representatives took immediate steps to address these hazards."
Proposed Penalties: $49,075
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 Appleton Area Office at (920) 734-4521.
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Release Number: 15-734-CHI
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