Region 8 News Release: 11-441-DEN
April 13, 2011
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites RY Timber Inc. in
Livingston, Mont., for exposing workers to combustible dust hazards
BILLINGS, Mont. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited RY Timber Inc. in Livingston with five repeat and four serious violations for exposing workers to combustible dust hazards. The hazards were uncovered during an OSHA inspection opened Dec. 1, 2010. The agency has proposed a total of $79,200 in penalties.
The repeat violations address deficiencies involving unguarded pulleys, chains and sprockets, as well as inadequate housekeeping in areas where combustible dust build-up had exceeded allowable limits. 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.
The serious violations allege deficiencies in guarding of equipment and unclassified electrical equipment used in areas where combustible dust hazards exist. 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.
"RY Timber failed to provide its employees with a safe and healthful workplace," said Christine A. Webb, OSHA's area director in Billings. "The hazards discovered during this inspection are well-recognized in the industry and must be addressed immediately to avoid preventable injuries or deaths."
More information on combustible dust is available at http://www.osha.gov/dsg/combustibledust/index.html.
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 inspection was conducted by OSHA's Billings Area Office, telephone 406-247-7494. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (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 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 information above is available in large print, Braille, audiotape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.