OSHA fines two wood mills in worker deathsVANCE, AL & FULTON, MS

– Deaths of workers at  wood manufacturing plants in Mississippi and Alabama brought a list of citations and fines from OSHA. Lumber mill KyKenKee Inc. in Vance, AL was fined $121,400 for 15 safety and health violations detected after a worker was killed in December 2010 when a log fell 13 feet from a debarker conveyor, striking him in the head.

OSHA cited KyKenKee for a willful safety violation related to the incident for failing to fence the area to prevent access and post warning signs. OSHA says employees told its investigators that logs rolling off the conveyor were an ongoing hazard.

At ts Fulton, MS sawmill, Graham Lumber Co. was cited for 15 safety and health violations following the March electrocution of a worker who was troubleshooting a malfunctioning starter inside a motor power
control center. OSHA levied $41,310 in fines against Graham Lumber, citing it for failing to train employees on work safety practices and allowing unqualified employees to work on energized equipment.

Graham Lumber, a subsidiary of Waynesboro, VA-based American Hardwood Industries, also operates sawmills in its headquarters town of Linden, TN and in Selmer, TN, milling hardwood lumber primarily for the flooring industry.

At the KyKenKee sawmill other violations listed by OSHA included not having machine guards on equipment; not guarding sprockets and chains on conveyors; exposing employees to noise hazards; and failing to develop lockout/tagout procedures.

Both firms were cited for records keeping matters. OSHA says it has established an interactive website to help wood industry and other employers comply with its record keeping rules.

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