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Lumber company fined for violations that risk work injury

A lumber and mulch company recently received an $85,000 fine for health and safety hazards discovered at their facility that could lead to a work injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the citation following a series of investigations that found a total of 44 regulation violations. Unsafe work environments can place California employees at a high risk for work injury that can inflict painful bodily damage and long term disability.

The citation against the lumber company included failure to maintain fire extinguishers and problems with an elevated platform, in addition to six issues that had been previously cited. The agency also found that employees were not properly trained to handle hazardous material nor were they provided a way to communicate regarding the potentially dangerous compounds they were working with. Without appropriate safety processes in place, employees can be left vulnerable for accidents to occur.

Following the inspections, OSHA reportedly found amputation risks, electrical and falling dangers. These risks have the potential to become fatal if a worker is involved in an accident. The failure to provide safety equipment for machinery and personnel may have contributed to the highly unsafe conditions.

Reports indicate that excessive noise levels drew the attention of agency investigators, which lead to the second inspection and the hefty fine. OSHA fears that employees are placed in high risk situations while in the unsafe environment and could suffer hearing loss or serious physical trauma. A California worker that experiences a debilitating work injury may seek professional help reviewing the accident and pursuing the workers' compensation benefits to which they are likely entitled under the law.

Source:, "Wayne Lumber sawmill faces $85K penalty for OSHA safety and heal", Sarah Tincher, Sept. 15, 2014

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