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Region 1 BOS 2003-118
June 9, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074


Amputation of Worker's Arm by Unguarded Conveyor at Milan, N.H.
Lumber Mill Leads to $49,000 OSHA Fine

CONCORD, N.H. -- The amputation of a worker's arm at a Milan, N.H. lumber mill could have been prevented if the material handling conveyor he was operating had been properly guarded, reports the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Paul Vallee Lumber Co., Inc., located at 358 Milan Rd., faces a $49,000 fine for an alleged willful violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following an OSHA inspection prompted by the April 7 accident. The inspection found that the employee's arm was severed when his shirt became caught between the unguarded drive chain and sprocket wheels of the operating conveyor and he was pulled into the machinery.

"The purpose of machine guarding is to prevent any part of an employee's body from coming in contact with moving machinery," said David May, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "This case is a stark example of what can happen when this basic safeguard is ignored."

May explained that the amount of the fine reflects the citation's classification as willful, the most severe category of OSHA citation. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations

"Management knew of the hazard posed by this unguarded machinery, yet did nothing to correct it until after the accident," said May, who noted that OSHA had cited the company in June and October of last year for unguarded chains and sprockets on other machinery.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The inspection was conducted by the OSHA area office in Concord, N.H. The telephone number is (603) 225-1629.


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The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device dor the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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