FRANKLIN, Ohio -- Two employees of Burrows Paper Corp. in Franklin were injured in separate incidents after the food box manufacturer failed to provide adequate machine guarding and implement energy isolating procedures during servicing and maintenance. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued two repeat and four serious safety violations to the company for exposing workers to amputation and struck-by hazards. Proposed penalties total $58,800.
'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 was struck by a trolley car on Feb. 18, 2014, resulting in a leg injury requiring hospitalization. A second complaint inspection was opened after OSHA learned 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 missed workdays.
Four serious violations were cited for lack of machine guarding, 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. 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.
OSHA's inspection found that Burrows Paper had not developed procedures to ensure that 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 procedures were understood and properly implemented. The company was previously cited for violating this standard at its Mount Vernon facility in 2011.
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.
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 located in Franklin and Mt. Vernon, Ohio; Fort Madison, Iowa; and Reno, Nevada. 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 was modified to a different OSHA Standard.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Cincinnati office at 513-841-4132.
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.