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Region 3 News Release: 04-533-PHI
Mon., March 29, 2004
Contact: Kate Dugan
Office: (215) 861-5101
Company Will Take Steps to Ensure Future Safety and Health of Worker
PHILADELPHIA -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations and signed a settlement agreement with Stone Container Corp., a subsidiary of Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., Philadelphia, following the investigation of a fatal accident last September.
"This tragic death should have been prevented," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "To ensure that workplace fatalities continue to decline, we must make sure that employers protect employees from hazards. The significant penalty of $231,000 OSHA has imposed and the company has agreed to pay sends a strong signal that worker health and safety is of utmost importance."
The citations all address deficiencies related to powered industrial trucks. As part of the settlement agreement, which takes effect March 26, Stone Container has agreed to:
-- institute an annual audit program with an outside consultant that addresses all safety issues, particularly repair, maintenance, inspection and operation of powered industrial trucks;
-- train its mechanics in proper repair methods and ensure that repair and preventative maintenance logs are kept for each powered truck;
-- conduct an annual "safety stand down day" to conduct safety training;
-- corporate management of Stone Container will assure that each of the Corrugated Container facilities will conduct training in the safe operation and maintenance of Powered Industrial trucks.
Stone Container Corp. manufactures paperboard and paper-based packaging and employs 50 workers at its Philadelphia plant. In the September 2003 accident, a worker died after being crushed between the forklift he was operating and an industrial clamp truck operated by a co-worker.
The inspection was conducted by the Philadelphia OSHA office located at the U.S. Customs House, 2nd and Chestnut Street. Telephone (215) 597-4955.
Work-related fatalities declined 6.6 percent in 2002, the most recent year for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has published data. For more information, visit www.osha.gov. The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting the health and safety of America's workers.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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