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OSHA Claims Box Manufacturer Failed to Abate Safety Violations

Dec. 3, 2015
Midvale Paper Box Co. boxed itself into a corner with OSHA when it failed to abate safety violations and continued exposing workers to hazards.

Midvale Paper Box Co. Inc. in Plains, Penn., on Nov. 25 was issued citations by OSHA for one willful, two failure-to-abate, six repeat and 13 serious violations. The company originally was cited in September 2014. The agency is proposing fines of $103,200.

“Midvale Paper Box Co. Inc. failed to protect its employees by not providing safeguards, such as adequate machine guarding and measures to control hazardous energy, that are intended to prevent worker injury or even death,” said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA’s Wilkes-Barre Area Office. “The penalties in the case reflect OSHA’s commitment to hold employers legally responsible for failing to comply with safety standards and protect employee safety and health.”

OSHA found the alleged violations when compliance officers conducted a follow-up inspection on May 29, 2015, after Midvale failed to verify it had abated hazards found during the September 2014 inspection. The willful violation was due to the company’s failure to place devices on machinery to prevent the sudden startup or movement of equipment during service and maintenance, a procedure known as lockout/tagout.

OSHA determined the employer did not correct previously cited safety violations, including a lack of machine guarding. This resulted in the failure-to-abate violations.

Exposing employees to electrical, fall and crushing hazards, and the company’s failure to ensure operators were competent to drive powered industrial trucks were among the repeat violations.

The serious violations involved inadequate machine guarding; struck-by, electrical and chemical hazards; defective powered industrial trucks in need of repair; and no written hazard communication program, among other safety issues.

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