OSHA cites Georgia company after maintenance fatality

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited SP Newsprint following a fatal accident at the company's manufacturing plant in Dublin, Ga. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $78,750.

"This tragic accident could have been prevented if the company had followed required safety procedures," said John J. Deifer, OSHA's Savannah, Ga., area director. "Accidents like this simply should not happen."

OSHA's fatality inspection began Jan. 10, after a maintenance employee assigned to lubricate the dry end of a paper production machine was pinned between moving parts and crushed against a drum gear.

The agency issued 22 serious citations to the company for failure to use lockout/tagout procedures that would have rendered the machinery inoperative; inadequately training employees about procedures; failure to periodically inspect and certify the procedures; and not protecting workers from electrical, fire, and other hazards.

OSHA issues serious citations when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazards.

SP Newsprint Co. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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