Texas Lumber Company Faces $125K in Fines for Safety Violations

June 24, 2014

Federal safety regulators have cited a Texas sawmill for failure-to-abate previous safety violations and continuing to expose workers still to serious hazards. More than $125,000in fines are proposed for Gillespie Lumber Ltd. in Nacogdoches, which was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 13 violations.

Seven of the 13 citations were for failure-to-abate previous violations in an August 2013 inspection.

OSHA said company continues to expose workers to dangerous, unguarded machines. The proposed penalty for this follow-up inspection, which began in January, is $125,282.00.

The employer was cited for seven failure-to-abate violations, with a penalty of $98,640, for electrical hazards and failing to guard rotating parts, the point of operation on machines, belts, pulleys, chains, sprockets and rotating shafts.

These failure-to-abate violations were originally cited in an August 2013 inspection under a regional emphasis program on occupational noise exposure.

A failure-to-abate notice applies to a condition, hazard or practice found upon reinspection for which the employer was originally cited and was not corrected.

Three serious repeat violations, with a penalty of $26,180, were cited for failing to provide fall protection and guard belts, pulleys and the point of operation of machines.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Gillespie was cited for three repeat violations, with a penalty of $462, for failing to follow listing and labeling instructions on electrical equipment, electrical disconnects for motors and branch circuits.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in August 2013.

Source: OSHA

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