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Texas Sawmill Hit With 17 Safety Violations

Nix Forest Industries Inc., a sawing and planes mill in Timpson, Texas, was recently hit with 17 safety and health violations from the OSHA. Some of the serious violations include: failure to verify that tagout devices were in place and clearly visible to indicate when an energy isolating device was in operation or moving, inadequate lockout/tagout training for energy control and failure to certify training that was completed and current.

These OSHA violations came after an employee was killed in December 2012. The employee was hit by a broken band saw blade. His death, along with the alleged exposure of other workers to hazards at the sawmill, resulted in the launch of an investigation by the OSHA.

Additional violations that Nix Forest was cited for include one health violation: failure to administer a hearing conservation program for workers' exposure to occupational noise. A willful violation was also cited: lack of control procedures for hazardous energy when maintaining equipment and machinery. Other violations include: failure to guard machines, post entry point warning signs at low carriage areas, ensure band saw wheels were enclosed or guarded, and ensure that flexible cords and cables were not used in lieu of fixed wiring.

The number of serious violations totaled 14. Serious violations are issues that OSHA sees as having a substantial probability of resulting in death or serious physical harm.

If your company is under fire or investigation by the OSHA, you should consult an attorney who is knowledgeable in OSHA violations and procedures. An attorney can be with you when the OSHA investigator visits your company site and can represent you, perhaps helping to prevent, mitigate or even eliminate citations.

Source: workerscompensation.com, "OSHA Cites Texas Employer After Worker Death" No author given, Aug. 06, 2013

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