Death at a Texas sawmill
Company penalized $70,000 following worker fatality
After an employee was struck and killed by an 800+ pound piece of lumber that kicked out of a machine at Tanner Timber Services, the company received five citations from OSHA, including a willful one for failing to protect workers from hazardous, unguarded machines.
The sawmill failed to provide an approved method to prevent lumber from kicking back and striking a worker.
Tanner Timber Services also failed to:
- failure to implement lockout/tagout procedures to protect workers who service or maintain machines
- to install a guardrail on sawmill work platforms
- guard chains, sprockets, belts and pulleys properly
- cover unused electrical panel openings.
Due to the willful violation in relation to the fatality, Tanner Timber Services has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program*, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.
The proposed penalties total $91,300. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.