A New York paperboard mill faces $357,445 in fines for exposing workers to 61 safety and health hazards, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigators visited Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc., Dec. 27 in response to a complaint of unsafe working conditions. Inspectors discovered employees exposed to serious safety hazards, including more than 20 instances of machinery lacking safety guards to prevent employees from the risk of amputation.

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Machinery in the mill did not have safety locks to prevent the accidental start-up of machinery during maintenance, and employees did not receive required training or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to work on electrical systems with up to 2,300 volts.

Metal catwalks did not have restraints to help protect employees from falls, some as high as 13 feet. Employees also entered confined spaces without prior atmospheric testing, or means to rescue persons overcome by fumes.

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OSHA also issued citations for exposing workers to struck-by hazards when the company failed to inspect  cranes and hoists.

“The violations found during this investigation put employees at serious risk of injury or even worse,” said OSHA Area Director Christopher Adams. “This is a significant number of hazards for a single workplace. Carthage Specialty Paperboard must implement corrective measures to protect their employees’ safety and health.”

The Carthage-based company has notified OSHA of its intent to contest the findings.

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