RY Timber cited by OSHA for worker ComDust exposureBILLINGS, MT -- RY Timber Inc., a manufacturer of 2x4 studs, has been cited for five repeat and four serious violations for exposing workers to combustible dust hazards by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA said the hazards were discovered during its inspection that opened Dec. 1, 2010. The agency has proposed a total of $79,200 in penalties.

The repeat violations address deficiencies involving unguarded pulleys, chains and sprockets, as well as inadequate housekeeping in areas where combustible dust build-up had exceeded allowable limits.

The serious violations allege deficiencies in guarding of equipment and unclassified electrical equipment used in areas where combustible dust hazards exist.

In addition to the sawmill in Livingston, RY Timber operates a sawmill in Townsend, MT. On its website, the company claims that its two mills "produce 16% of all the structural lumber that is manufactured in the State of Montana."

"RY Timber failed to provide its employees with a safe and healthful workplace," said Christine Webb, OSHA's area director in Billings. "The hazards discovered during this inspection are well-recognized in the industry and must be addressed immediately to avoid preventable injuries or deaths."

More information on combustible dust is available at http://www.osha.gov/dsg/combustibledust/index.html.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Posted by Rich Christianson

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