— Oregon OSHA has cited Mid-Columbia Lumber Products for six violations of job safety rules – half of them repeat offenses – in connection with an accident investigation of the company’s worksite in Madras.
In one violation, the company, which manufactures framing lumber, exposed workers to serious harm or death by not controlling the hazards involved in maintaining a powered machine – an outfeed conveyor. In another, the company subjected workers to the dangers of getting caught in an unguarded rotating sprocket.
The hazardous energy violation – a failure to use lock out and tag out procedures to isolate a machine from its power source – is the second such violation committed by Mid-Columbia Lumber Products since 2016. Likewise, the unguarded machine violation was a repeat of the company’s carelessness in 2017.
“There is simply no reason to expose workers to hazards that we have long known how to control or eliminate,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “To repeatedly violate safety standards – standards that exist to protect people from harm – is the height of recklessness.”
Oregon OSHA opened an investigation of Mid-Columbia Lumber Products in September 2019, after an accident in which a worker attempted to put a moving chain back on the track of a moulder outfeed chain conveyor while it was still operating.
The worker’s left hand was dragged into the machine’s rotating sprocket. The worker’s injuries resulted in an amputated ring finger, an amputated pinky fingertip, and pins installed in the crushed middle and pointer fingers.
Under Oregon OSHA rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat violations. The citation against Mid-Columbia Lumber Products carries a total proposed penalty of $8,610. The fine amount includes a standard penalty reduction based on the company’s size.
Altogether, Oregon OSHA cited the company for the following violations:
- Failing to maintain an effective centralized safety committee, which employers with multiple locations may use. This serious violation included not having a written safety and health policy; not posting safety committee minutes; not training committee members on hazard identification; and not conducting quarterly inspections.
- Failing to conduct periodic inspections to ensure energy control procedures were being followed. This was a serious violation.
- Failing to develop, document, and use procedures to control potentially hazardous energy when employees are doing service or maintenance work on a powered machine. This was as repeat violation.
- Failing to provide machine guarding to protect employees from hazards created by point of operation, nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks. This was a repeat violation.
- Failing to train employees in the safe application, use, and removal of energy control devices. This was a repeat violation.
- Failing to maintain and produce documents related to recording workplace injuries and illnesses. This was an other-than-serious violation.
In addition to its enforcement activities, Oregon OSHA offers employers resources to help improve workplace safety and health.
Contact Oregon OSHA’s no-cost consultation services for help with safety and health programs:
Toll-free in Oregon: 800-922-2689
The agency’s technical staff members can answer questions about rules and how to apply them:
Toll-free in Oregon: 800-922-2689