OSHA Fines Manufacturer After Falling Wood Kills Worker

The company had developed an alternative procedure for clearing equipment following an earlier amputation, but failed to implement it.

Safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Mobile, Alabama-based Miller & Co. Inc. for failing to protect employees from struck-by hazards after a worker was fatally injured at the company's Selma, Alabama, facility. The lumber and flooring manufacturer faces $218,192 in penalties.

The employee died after being struck by a piece of wood while attempting to clear a jammed machine. OSHA cited the company for failing to lockout equipment prior to beginning maintenance, ensure machines were properly guarded, and train employees on lockout/tagout procedures. Miller & Co. had developed an alternative energy control procedure for clearing equipment jams after an employee suffered an amputation in 2018, but the company failed to implement the procedure.

"Employers are required to identify safety hazards, implement safety measures and train workers on the proper use of safety equipment," said OSHA Mobile Area Director Jose Gonzalez. "Tragedies such as this can be prevented if employers comply with workplace standards, as required by law."

OSHA's Machine Guarding webpage offers resources on protecting workers from amputations and safeguarding equipment.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings.

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