US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Texas sawmill for failure-to-abate
previous safety violations; workers still exposed to serious hazards
Gillespie Lumber Ltd. cited for 13 violations with more than $125,000 in fines
HOUSTON, Texas – Gillespie Lumber Ltd. in Nacogdoches was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 13 violations, including seven for failure-to-abate previous violations in an August 2013 inspection. The company continues to expose workers to dangerous, unguarded machines. The proposed penalty for this follow-up inspection, which began in January, is $125,282.00.
"By failing to fix hazards previously cited, Gillespie Lumber continues to expose workers to possible injuries from machines that require safety guarding. Failure to protect workers from these hazards is unacceptable," said David Doucet, OSHA's area director in the Houston North Area Office.
The employer was cited for seven failure-to-abate violations, with a penalty of $98,640, for electrical hazards and failing to guard rotating parts, the point of operation on machines, belts, pulleys, chains, sprockets and rotating shafts. These failure-to-abate violations were originally cited in an August 2013 inspection under a regional emphasis program on occupational noise exposure. A failure-to-abate notice applies to a condition, hazard or practice found upon reinspection for which the employer was originally cited and was not corrected.
Three serious repeat violations, with a penalty of $26,180, were cited for failing to provide fall protection and guard belts, pulleys and the point of operation of machines. 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.
Gillespie was cited for three repeat violations, with a penalty of $462, for failing to follow listing and labeling instructions on electrical equipment, electrical disconnects for motors and branch circuits. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in August 2013.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GillespieLumberLTD_954971_0616_2014.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GillespieLumberLTD_930839_0616_2014.pdf*
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & 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 Houston North Area Office at 281-520-6171 or Houston South Area Office at 281-286-0583.
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).
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