MADRAS, Ore. - Oregon-based finger-joint lumber specialist Mid-Columbia Lumber Products has been cited and fined for six violations - half of which are repeat offenses.
The investigation began September 2019 after a worker was injured attempting to put a moving chain back on the track of a moulder outfeed chain conveyor while in operation. The worker's hand was pulled into the machine's rotating sprocket - resulting in an amputated ring finger, amputated pinky fingertip, and forced the installation of pins in his crushed middle and pointer fingers.
Oregon's OSHA division launched an investigation that discovered other violations. OSHA said Mid-Columbia exposed workers to serious harm or death by not controlling the hazards involved in maintaining a powered outfeed conveyor. It also said the company subjected workers to potentially getting caught in an unguarded rotating sprocket.
Another - a hazardous energy violation - was for a failure to use lock out and tag out procedures to isolate a machine from its power source. This was a repeat violation of a 2017 citation.
“There is simply no reason to expose workers to hazards that we have long known how to control or eliminate,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “To repeatedly violate safety standards—standards that exist to protect people from harm—is the height of recklessness.”
The company’s six violations:
- Failing to maintain an effective centralized safety committee, which employers with multiple locations may use. This serious violation included not having a written safety and health policy; not posting safety committee minutes; not training committee members on hazard identification; and not conducting quarterly inspections.
- Failing to conduct periodic inspections to ensure energy control procedures were being followed. This was a serious violation.
- Failing to develop, document, and use procedures to control potentially hazardous energy when employees are doing service or maintenance work on a powered machine. This was as repeat violation.
- Failing to provide machine guarding to protect employees from hazards created by point of operation, nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks. This was a repeat violation.
- Failing to train employees in the safe application, use, and removal of energy control devices. This was a repeat violation.
- Failing to maintain and produce documents related to recording workplace injuries and illnesses. This was an other-than-serious violation.
Penalties multiply when they're repeat, but since Mid-Columbia is a small penalty it gets a reduction. The proposed penalty is $8,610.
Mid-Columbia manufactures long-length lumber, floor joists, ceiling joists, studs, and other engineered lumber.
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