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Region 4 News Release   ATL: 03-124
Tues., June 10, 2003
Contact: Lisa Strunk       Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (205) 731-1534 ext 0     (404)562-2076


OSHA Cites Alabama Lumber Company for Machine Guarding
Hazards that Contributed to Worker Fatality
Proposed Penalties Total More Than $43,000

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Pate Lumber Company, Inc., of Carrollton, Ala., and proposed $43,400 in penalties for failing to protect workers from "caught and crush" hazards at the company's saw mill. A Pate employee died at the facility on Feb. 7, after feed rollers at a conveyor caught his clothing and pulled him into a tree bark removal machine.

The agency issued 15 serious citations, which included charges of: failure to guard saw blades, rotary knives, belts, pulleys, chains, sprockets and points where raw material enters a machine; failure to use lockout-tagout procedures that would have rendered the machinery inoperative; and failure to label control switches.

"Machine guards could have prevented this tragedy," said Robert Sanchez, OSHA's Birmingham area director. "OSHA is committed to reducing hazards from unguarded machinery, a major cause of death and amputation in the workplace."

The company was also cited for exposing workers to falls and electrical hazards, two other leading causes of worker death and injury.

OSHA issues serious citations when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The fatality investigation was conducted by OSHA's Birmingham office located at Todd Mall, 2047 Canyon Rd, Vestavia Hills; phone: (205) 731-1534.

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.

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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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