The Franklin, Ohio-based Cheney Pulp and Paper Co. has received an OSHA inspection after a worker’s death in July. At the time of the accident, the worker was driving a forklift that lacked a necessary component that prevents rolling under when another machine crushed him. The lack of a protective shield on the rotary digester qualifies as a willful violation. That is, “one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for, or plain indifference to, employee safety and health,” according to OSHA.
“This was a terrible, preventable tragedy that underscores the importance of OSHA's standards. Employers are required to use equipment in accordance with manufacturer's specifications and ensure adequate guarding to prevent contact with operating machinery,” said the Cincinnati-area OSHA director.
OSHA inspected the facility in 2010 and found 27 violations. After the most recent inspection, the company was placed on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which is reserved for “recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations,” according to OSHA.
The company has 15 days to contest the proposed citations before they must rectify the violations and pay the $77,000 fine.
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