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OSHA Fines New York Paperboard Mill for Machine Safety Hazards

Inspectors find machines at Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc. that lacked safety guards, exposing workers to amputation risks.

More than 60 safety and health hazards were discovered at a Carthage, New York paperboard mill after a complaint spurred an OSHA inspection.

Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc. racked up $357,445 in proposed penalities after agency investigators found workers were exposed to various hazards including lack of inspections as well as machinery without safety guards.

“The violations found during this investigation put employees at serious risk of injury or even worse,” said OSHA Area Director Christopher Adams in a statement. “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.”

On Dec. 27, 2016, in response to a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions, OSHA inspectors found than 20 instances of machinery lacking safety guards to prevent amputations.

According to the agency, the machinery in the mill did not have safety locks to prevent the accidental start-up of machinery during maintenance, and workers did not receive required training or personal protective equipment (PPE) to work on electrical systems with up to 2,300 volts.

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

As a result of the inspection, 61 total health and safety violations were noted. Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc. notified OSHA of their intent to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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