SELMA, Ala. - An Alabama sawmill has been slapped with a $218,192 fine after an employee was fatally struck by a piece of wood on the job.
In January, an employee at Miller & Co. Inc. was reportedly attempting to clear a jammed machine as he was struck and killed. OSHA says the company failed to lockout equipment before beginning maintenance, didn't make sure machines were properly guarded, and failed to sufficiently train employees on these procedures.
“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 says Miller did develop a procedure for clearing jams in 2018, but never implemented it.
Miller has 15 days to either comply with the fine, contest it, or request an informal conference with OSHA's regional director.
Miller produces hand-sawn hardwoods primarily for lumberyards and construction companies. It also supplies hardwood flooring to national chains. In addition to the Selma sawmill, Miller also produces lumber in Jackson, Tennessee.
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