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Oregon OSHA Fines Mid-Columbia Lumber Products Following Amputation

March 2, 2020
State-run agency found numerous health and safety violations.

Multiple safety violations were discovered at Culver, Ore.-based Mid-Columbia Lumber Products following an accident at the company's Madras, Ore. worksite.

In September 2019, a company employee attempted to put a moving chain back on the track of a moulder outfeed chain conveyor while the equipment was engaged.

According to Oregon OSHA's accident report, the worker’s left hand was dragged into the machine’s rotating sprocket causing serious injury including an amputated ring finger, an amputated pinky fingertip and pins installed in the crushed middle and pointer fingers.

“There is simply no reason to expose workers to hazards that we have long known how to control or eliminate,” said Michael Wood, Oregon OSHA administrator in a press statement. “To repeatedly violate safety standards – standards that exist to protect people from harm – is the height of recklessness.”

The state-run agency discovered six violations in total; half of those were repeat citations.

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.

Investigators found the manufacturer of framing lumber failed to protect its workers through not controlling the hazards involved with the outfeed conveyor. In addition, employees were exposed to caught-in hazards because the rotating socket was not guarded.This is the second such violation since 2017.

A failure to utilize lock out/tag out procedures is a repeat violation for Mid-Columbia Lumber Products. The company received the same violation in 2016. 

The total proposed penalty amount, taking into account repeat violations, is $8,610.The fine amount includes a standard penalty reduction based on the company’s size, according to the agency.

 Altogether, Oregon OSHA cited the company for the following violations:

  • SERIOUS VIOLATION - Failing to maintain an effective centralized safety committee, which employers with multiple locations may use. This 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.
  • SERIOUS VIOLATION - Failing to conduct periodic inspections to ensure energy control procedures were being followed. 
  • REPEAT 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. 
  • 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. 
  • REPEAT VIOLATION - Failing to train employees in the safe application, use, and removal of energy control devices. This was a repeat violation. 
  • OTHER-THAN-SERIOUS VIOLATION - Failing to maintain and produce documents related to recording workplace injuries and illnesses. 
About the Author

Stefanie Valentic

Stefanie Valentic was formerly managing editor of EHS Today, and is currently editorial director of Waste360.

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