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Burrows Paper fined $58k for repeat H&S violations

By Jenny Eagle+

18-Aug-2014

Burrows Paper fined $58k for repeat H&S violations

Burrows Paper has come under fire from the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for repeat violations over a five year period.

The watchdog issued two repeat and four serious safety violations to the company for exposing workers to amputation and struck-by hazards with proposed penalties of $58,800.

Struck by trolley car

It found two employees in Franklin, were injured in separate incidents after the food box manufacturer failed to provide adequate machine guards and implement energy isolating procedures during servicing and maintenance.

"It is inexcusable the company continued to expose workers to these hazards, many among the 10 most frequently cited by OSHA,” said Bill Wilkerson, area director OSHA Cincinnati.

A corporation, such as Burrows Paper, should be well-versed in the safety requirements for operating machinery in its plants."

OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer was previously cited 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. It was fined $300k for two other sites in April this year.

It initiated the first inspection after receiving a complaint a worker was struck by a trolley car on February 18, 2014, which led to a leg injury and hospitalization.

A second inspection was opened after another employee had her hand caught in the chain and sprockets of a packaging machine on March 13, 2014, resulting in a broken finger and time off work.

Four serious violations were cited for lack of machine guards, which enabled the first employee to be 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.

Inadequate training

Additionally, workers operating and maintaining the machinery were inadequately trained 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.

The 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.

It found the company had an inadequate periodic inspection program for energy control procedures and lacked a review process to ensure procedures were understood and properly implemented. The company was previously cited for violating this standard at its Mount Vernon facility in 2011.

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 was modified to a different OSHA Standard.

Headquartered in Little Falls, New York, Burrows Paper operates four paper mills. Three are in New York and the fourth in Pickens, Mississippi. Burrows' packaging operations are in Franklin and Mt. Vernon, Ohio; Fort Madison, Iowa; and Reno, Nevada.

The company manufactures machine glaze and machine finish paper grades for a variety of uses, such as food packaging.

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