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OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

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U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Department of Labor | Jan. 14, 2016

Emphasis on logging safety finds more than a dozen willful, serious
violations of worker safety standards at Clay, West Virginia, company
OSHA fines A and S Tree Service $44K for federal violations

Employer name: A and S Tree Service Inc., PO Box 477, Clay, West Virginia

Inspection site: 222 Sweet Grape Run, Walton, West Virginia

Citations issued: On Jan. 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for two willful, 11 serious and three other-than-serious violations.

Investigation findings: OSHA’s Charleston Area Office initiated an inspection on Oct. 6, 2015, under its local emphasis program focused on logging. The logging industry is one of the five most hazardous industries, based on injury rates. Historically, the industry is the source of multiple fatalities in West Virginia. In 2015, 27 percent of all occupational fatalities in West Virginia occurred in logging.

Willful violations were issued for the company permitting employees to ride as passengers on a dozer without the use of an assigned seat and safety belt, and exposed the employees to crushing injuries if the employees fell unexpectedly from the machine. The company also exposed a worker to danger of severe cuts or lacerations after allowing the employee to drop start a chainsaw.

The serious violations include an employee not wearing required heavy-duty leather boots while operating a chainsaw; an employee not wearing face protection while using a chainsaw to limb trees; a bulldozer operated on rough terrain without the use of the provided seatbelt; and trees felled with inadequate undercuts that help control the tree’s fall.

The other-than-serious citations related to a missing operator manual for a dozer, lack of current first-aid and CPR training, and absence of a hazard communication plan.

Proposed penalties: $44,000

Quote: “Loggers who manually fell trees with chainsaws are exposed to the greatest logging risks, making it critical for employers to ensure safeguards are in place to prevent injuries or death,” said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA’s Charleston Office. ‘Compliance with OSHA’s logging standard will eliminate many of the fatal accidents and greatly reduce the number of lost work day injuries occurring in the logging industry.”

View the citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AandSTreeServiceLLC_1096914_0106_16.pdf*

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Charleston Area Office at 304-347-5937.

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Media Contacts:

Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102, uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov
Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101, hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-58-PHI (osha 16-005)

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

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