Two workers at Burrows Paper Corp. in Franklin, OH, suffered injuries in separate incidents after the food box manufacturer failed to provide adequate machine guarding and implement energy isolating procedures during servicing and maintenance.
As a result, the company is facing $58,800 in fines for two repeat and four serious safety violations after exposing workers to amputation and struck-by hazards, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“It is inexcusable that the company continued to expose workers to these hazards, many among the 10 most frequently cited by OSHA. A corporation, such as Burrows Paper, should be well-versed in the safety requirements for operating machinery in its plants,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati.
OSHA initiated the first inspection after receiving a complaint that a worker ended up struck by a trolley car on Feb. 18, resulting in a leg injury requiring hospitalization. A second complaint inspection opened after OSHA learned another employee caught her hand in the chain and sprockets of a packaging machine March 13. The injury resulted in a broken finger and missed workdays.
Four serious violations were for lack of machine guarding, which enabled the first employee to end up struck by the automated trolley, and lack of energy control procedures, such as physically shutting off devices prior to cleaning and setting up equipment and failing to affix lockout devices. Additionally, workers operating and maintaining the machinery did not receive adequate training in safety procedures.
An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exits.
OSHA’s inspection found Burrows Paper had not developed procedures to ensure the packaging machine did not turn on during servicing or maintenance, which contributed to the second worker’s injuries. OSHA found the company had an inadequate periodic inspection program for energy control procedures and lacked a review process to ensure employees understood the procedures and properly implemented them. The company faced previous citations for violating this standard at its Mount Vernon facility in 2011.
OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously faced a citation for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Headquartered in Little Falls, NY, Burrows Paper operates four paper mills. Three are in New York and the fourth in Pickens, MS. Burrows’ packaging operations are located in Franklin and Mt. Vernon, OH; Fort Madison, IA; and Reno, NV. Burrows Paper manufactures machine glaze and machine finish paper grades for a variety of uses, such as medical and food packaging.
Burrows Paper attended an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, and reached a settlement with the agency that included accepting all of the proposed violations except one that ended up modified to a different OSHA Standard.