Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 214-767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
MORRILTON, Ark. -- Alleged failure to protect employees from safety hazards has brought Green Bay Packaging Inc.'s Arkansas Kraft Division in Morrilton $132,000 in proposed penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Green Bay Packaging is headquartered in Green Bay, Wis. The Arkansas Kraft Division was cited for two willful and two serious violations following an OSHA inspection at the plant on 338 Highway. The facility, which manufactures heavy paper, has 357 employees.
"Every employee has the right to a safe and healthful workplace," said Paul Hansen, OSHA's area director in Little Rock, Ark. "The significant penalty of $132,000 in this case demonstrates OSHA's commitment to assuring the safety and health of employees by aggressively pursuing strong, fair and effective enforcement."
The two willful violations are for failing to ensure that paper manufacturing equipment was locked out and blocked prior to employee entry (to prevent accidental start-ups during maintenance) and not adequately protecting employees from exposure to live electrical parts. OSHA issues a willful citation when there is evidence of intentional violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act or plain indifference to the act's requirements.
Serious citations have been issued for failing to guard open-sided floors and platforms, and to insulate steam and hot water pipes. A serious violation is one involving a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Green Bay Packaging has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Little Rock, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards may call OSHA's Little Rock Area Office (telephone 501-224-1841) or OSHA's toll-free hotline (800-321-6742) to report workplace safety and health-related incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to employees.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found more than 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
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 the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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