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Region 1 News Release: 05-951-BOS/BOS 2005-134
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074


OSHA Proposes Nearly $320,000 in Fines for Widespread Safety and Health Hazards at New Hampshire Paper Mill

CONCORD, N.H. -- Atlantic Paper & Foil Corp., doing business as Atlantic Paper Mills of New Hampshire LLC, has been cited for a total of 59 alleged willful, serious and other-than-serious job safety and health violations at its Winchester, N.H., paper mill. The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $319,200 in fines following inspections begun Nov. 30, 2004 following an accident in which a worker was caught in a paper winder.

The willful citations address the company's failure to maintain roof support walls and others parts of the mill's structure in safe condition; paper machines not guarded to prevent employees from being caught in their moving parts; untrained personnel operating forklifts, and a front end loader operated without working brakes. A total of $198,000 in fines is proposed for these items.

The alleged serious violations, which carry an additional $121,200 in proposed penalties, include citations for not having an emergency response program or training; inoperable emergency response and sprinkler systems; no fire extinguisher training; no trained first aid responders; inadequate exit access; damaged floors; uninspected cranes and hoists; unsafe operation of forklifts; improper chemical storage; lack of personal protective equipment and training; excess noise levels and lack of adequate hearing protection; unsanitary bathrooms; confined space hazards; electrical hazards; inadequate hazard communication and numerous additional instances of unguarded machinery. The other-than-serious citations address an inadequate injury and illness log, improperly modified forklifts and failure to inform employees of their right to access their medical records.

"Structural collapse, electrocution, fire, crushing injuries, burns, chemical exposure, lacerations, amputation, falls and hearing loss are just some of the hazards to which these workers have been exposed," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "It is imperative that this employer take effective steps to correct these hazards and prevent their recurrence."

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. A serious violation is a condition where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result to an employee.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA's Concord area office conducted the inspection. Its telephone number is (603) 225-1629.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Labor Department (DOL) 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 at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


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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