NATCHEZ, Mississippi – OSHA has cited von Drehle Corp. – a paper products manufacturer – for several workplace safety hazards that put employees at risk of injury at its facility in Natchez, Mississippi. In total, the company received 21 citations and is facing a total of $303,657 in penalties. One violation – Willful – received the maximum allowed by law.
An OSHA inspection of the company’s facility resulted in citations for exposing employees to electrical hazards; lack of machine guarding; allowing combustible dust to accumulate on surfaces; failing to lockout machinery to control hazardous energy; exposing employees to arc-flash; and allowing slip, trip, and fall hazards.
Sixteen Serious violations were issued to include combustible paper dust accumulation on all elevated horizontal surfaces; exposure to slip, trip, and fall hazards as a result of floor drains not being guarded; unguarded machine exposing employees to amputation hazards. Proposed penalties for these violations total $118,963. The Willful violation garnered the greatest proposed penalty – $132,598. Operators and maintenance personnel were exposed to electrical hazards such as shock and arc flash while working on or around motor control centers (MCC’s) which were located in damp or wet locations.
Additionally, the company received two Repeat citations for unguarded machines exposing employees to amputation hazards as well as two Other-than-Serious violations regarding the use of extension cords and the lack of a Safety Data Sheet for recycled paper.
“Employers are required to assess potential hazards, and make necessary corrections to ensure a safe workplace,” said OSHA Jackson Area Office Director Courtney Bohannon. “The inspection results demonstrate workplace deficiencies existed putting workers at serious risk of injury or death.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.