OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA National News Release
U.S. Department of Labor
News Release USDL: 96-43
Friday, February 9, 1996
Contact: Deborah Page Crawford (202) 219-8151
OSHA And Florida Pulp Mill Settle Citations For Violations Of Safety And Health Regulations
Stone Container Corp. has agreed to pay $690,000 in penalties and to implement improvements at facilities in nine states as a result of an April 13, 1994, accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed the penalties following its investigation into the accident that killed three employees and injured five others.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Joseph A. Dear said, "We are pleased that Stone Container has agreed to settle this matter, and to aggressively address all causes of the accident.
"The agreement avoids the cost and burden of possible prolonged litigation and furthers the efforts of both OSHA and Stone Container to assure safe workplaces for all its employees nationwide."
The Panama City, Fla., pulp mill was cited Sept. 30, 1994, for alleged violations of OSHA standards. The employees were injured and killed when a wood chip pulp digester ruptured and the resulting release of pressure blew the digester 300 feet up through and beyond the mill roof. Workers were exposed to flying debris and hot wood pulp. OSHA's proposed penalty was $1,072,000.
In addition to paying the settlement penalty, the company has agreed to continue its new practices relating to the inspection, maintenance, repair and alterations to the digesters corporate-wide. All pressure vessels in Stone Container's facilities will be inspected, maintained, repaired, altered, and measured in accordance with the National Board Inspection Code (NBIC), and to the extent required by the NBIC, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel code. Alterations and repairs will be approved by an authorized inspector when required by the NBIC.
Stone Container employs 600 workers at the site who manufacture pulp and liner board. The workers are represented by the United Paperworkers International Union, the International Association of Machinists, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Office Professional Employees International Union.
In addition to Panama City, Fla., Stone Container has facilities in Coshocton, Ohio; Florence, S.C.; Hodge, La.; Hopewell, Va.; Missoula, Mont.; Ontonagon, Mich.; Port Wentworth, Ga.; and Snowflake, Ariz.
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