Ga. Paper Mill Cited Following Worker Amputations

OSHA cited Durango-Georgia Paper Co. for the second time in eight\r\nmonths, and proposed penalties totaling $157,500, following a double\r\namputation at the company's St. Mary's facility.

OSHA cited Durango-Georgia Paper Co. for the second time in eight months, and proposed penalties totaling $157,500, following a double amputation at the company''s St. Mary''s facility.

The agency received a complaint after an employee''s arms were caught and amputated in an unguarded paper machine on Nov. 1.

The worker remained trapped for more than 30 minutes before maintenance workers were able to free him.

Last August, OSHA cited Durango after an employee''s hand was crushed in a similar accident.

The agency is proposing two willful violations and penalties of $140,000 for machine guarding and "lockout/tagout" hazards, according to Teresa Harrison, OSHA''s Savannah area director.

"If the employer had heeded our concerns eight months ago regarding machine guarding and lockout/tagout, this tragic accident could have been avoided," said Harrison. "The company failed to lock out the machine to render it inoperable during maintenance."

Additional penalties of $17,500 are being proposed for three serious violations: elevated platforms without guardrails; not providing proper tools to employees to clean machine rollers; and lack of training for employees on lockout/tagout procedures.

The company, a subsidiary of Mexico-based Corporation Durango, has 15 working days to contest the citations.

Corporation Durango has approximately 3,000 employees, with about 1,200 at the St. Mary''s site.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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