SPRINGBROOK, WI – Buchman Lumber Co. LLC has been hit by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with proposed fines totaling $145,200 for a laundry list of alleged safety violations including amputation and noise hazards at its sawmill.
OSHA initiated a complaint investigation on Dec. 12, 2013 and expanded it to a comprehensive inspection of the facility because of the number and magnitude of hazards its inspectors discovered. The investigation resulted in 17 citations including four willful violations. In addition to the proposed financial penalties, OSHA placed Buchman on its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP.)
OSHA said it issued the four willful violations to Buchman Lumber stating that the company disregarded laws that safeguard workers from occupational hazards. The willful citations include:
• failing to administer a hearing conservation program;
• failing to provide eye and face protection to workers exposed to flying wood chips and boards;
• failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures to prevent machines from turning on during maintenance and servicing.
OSHA said sawmill workers were subject to 8-hour time-weighted average sound levels (TWA) exceeding 85 decibels and feasible administrative or engineer controls were not used to reduce sound levels. Many of the workers were subjected to noise levels double or more of the decibel limit, including a a planer operator who was exposed to continuous noise at 845 percent of the permissible daily exposure.
Many of the 13 serious violations issued to Buchman Lumber were for failing to provide adequate machine guarding on shafts, belts, pulleys, saws, conveyors and drives. The company also was cited for failing to develop and train workers in a hazard communication program allowing employees to work without required personal protective equipment.
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