US Department of Labor's OSHA cites St. Regis, Mont., sawmill
for safety violations; more than $128,000 proposed in fines
BILLINGS, Mont. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Tricon Timber LLC in St. Regis for 27 serious and repeat safety violations. OSHA opened an inspection upon receiving a complaint alleging that workers had been injured at the sawmill. Proposed penalties total $128,700.
Twenty-five serious violations involve failing to ensure that workers are protected from fall hazards by providing standard guardrails, include workers in a fully implemented respiratory protection program, provide adequate personal protective equipment, provide an eyewash and emergency shower station, implement a comprehensive energy control program and guard machines. The citations carry penalties of $80,190. 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.
Additionally, two repeat violations are failing to guard augers in the boiler room and ensure that the shaft ends on stackers are guarded. The citations carry penalties of $48,510. 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 February 2011.
"Unfortunately, this employer is not taking the steps needed to ensure that workers have a safe and healthful workplace," said Jeff Funke, the agency's area director in Billings. "In addition to a wide range of other dangers, Tricon Timber continues to expose workers to the same hazards cited last year, and OSHA is taking these repeat violations seriously."
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/TriconTimberLLC_192171_0821_12.pdf*.
Tricon Timber has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Billings office or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and 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 Billings Area Office at 406-247-7494.
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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.