A New York Lumber Mill was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 35 violations of safety standards after the tragic death of a worker last February.
This incident sheds light on what happens when mandated safety procedures are ignored and the citations reveal a larger government interest in protecting worker safety.
According to media sources, a worker was changing the blades on a saw was killed when another worker, who had disregarded government established procedure, started the saw without warning. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires a “lockout/tagout” procedure whereby workers alert each other that machines have been shut down and power sources have been locked out before maintenance can begin.
The police identified the worker as Thomas O. Pelton.
Not surprisingly, OSHA discovered many other hazardous conditions at the mill. These violations included hazardous conditions relating to machine guarding, electrical, ladder use, and protective use hazards. Such common overlooked hazards could lead to a number of injuries including, but not limited to, electrocution, amputation, lacerations, and even being caught in parts of a moving machine. B&B Lumber faces a total of $152,100 in proposed fines for these conditions.
B&B Lumber faces fines totaling over $150,000 due to these conditions.
Key to this incident is the Occupational and Safety and Health Act of 1970, which holds that employers are responsible for providing safe work conditions for their employees. Workers should look to OSHA to safeguard their welfare if they feel they are laboring in an environment that disregards basic work safety procedures.
If you are a Washington or Seattle worker who suspects that they are working in an unsafe work situation, they should contact OSHA immediately with their concerns.
If you are an injured worker, you should immediately seek out medical assistance. If you require compensation, you should contact an experienced Washington Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to fight for your rights. The Washington Workers Compensation Attorneys at Emery Reddy are prepared to advise you.