The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspected a Springbrook lumber plant after an anonymous source filed a complaint against Buchman Lumber Co. in December 2013.
Once OSHA inspectors uncovered excessive noise and amputation hazards, they expanded their targeted inspection to include the whole facility. The full inspection led to 17 serious and willful safety violations and more than $145,000 in fines. Buchman Lumber Co. was also placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Several of the lumber company’s numerous violations involved management’s failure to protect workers around heavy machinery. The facility incurred several willful violations for refusing to implement lockout/tagout procedures or install machine guarding on pulleys, saws, belts and conveyors.
If a machine is being repaired or serviced, it could malfunction and turn on without warning. Lockout/tagout procedures ensure that all such machines are removed from power sources and clearly marked as non-functioning.
Machine guarding senses when an employee may be too near the moving parts of a machine, making it a crucial step in protecting workers from amputated or crushed limbs.
Two-handed controls only work if both the employee’s hands are operating the machine, and therefore, clear of blades or crushing gears. Presence sensing devices come equipped with a sensor that can determine if an unfamiliar object enters the sensing field, like an employee’s hand or arm.
By failing to put these basic safety measures in place, Buchman Lumber Co. risked the safety and health of their employees. Amputation and crushing injuries can be devastating physically, financially and emotionally, and some injuries can result in permanent disability.
I Was Injured on the Job! What Are My Legal Options?
In the workplace, management is in charge of recognizing and managing safety hazards, but sometimes workers have to take a stand. If you think your employer is putting their interests above your health, call Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC. Our experienced workers comp attorneys can give you the support and information you need to make the most of your claim.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC
—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys