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Region 2 News Release: 08-719-NEW/BOS 2008-162
Tues., June 3, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074


Brownville, N.Y., paper manufacturer faces 35 workplace safety citations by U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA
Brownville Specialty Paper Products Inc. cited following death of employee

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Brownville Specialty Paper Products Inc. for 35 alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards following the death of an employee at its 1 Bridge St. plant in Brownville, N.Y.

The employee was fatally crushed on Dec. 5, 2007, by two large rolls of paper, weighing approximately 2,500 pounds, that rolled out of a rewinding machine. OSHA's inspection found that the machine's barrier guard was not interlocked with its drive mechanism to prevent the rolls from being ejected during rewinding operations, and the company knew of the hazard but did not correct it.

"This accident could have been prevented had this machine been properly guarded against this hazard," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "This case illustrates in the starkest possible terms why effective safeguards are necessary to prevent death and injury on the job."

OSHA has issued Brownville Specialty Paper Products one willful citation, carrying a $49,000 proposed fine, for the unguarded rewinding machine. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

OSHA's inspection also identified hazards involving blocked and obstructed emergency exit routes; fall hazards from unguarded stairways and work platforms, ladder deficiencies, lack of safety belts and lifelines, and an emergency exit opening onto an unguarded 30-foot-high landing; various unguarded moving machine parts; improper compressed gas storage; uninspected lifting equipment; several electrical hazards; respirator safety deficiencies; inadequate hearing protection; no emergency response plan and training for liquid chlorine spills; lack of training for employees entering confined spaces; unlabeled steam pipes and chlorine lines; and incomplete energy control procedures to prevent the unintended startup of machinery.

These conditions resulted in OSHA issuing the company 34 serious citations, with an additional $67,250 in proposed fines. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. In all, the company faces a total of $116,250 in fines for the willful and serious citations.

Brownville Specialty Paper Products Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Syracuse Area Office; telephone 315-451-0808.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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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