OSHA fines Rex Lumber US$184,385 after third serious incident in three years; death of 20-year-old sawmill worker at Troy, Alabama, facility in 2022 followed tragedies at two Rex sawmills in Florida in 2021 and 2020 related to improper machine operations

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

TROY, Alabama , July 5, 2023 (press release) –

Source: US Department of Labor

Rex Lumber LLC-Troy cited in Florida investigations in 2021, 2020

For the third time since 2020, the operator of sawmills in Alabama , Connecticut , Florida , Massachusetts , Mississippi and Virginia failed to follow federal workplace safety standards across its organization, resulting in a worker fatality at its Alabama facility and a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.

An investigation by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that a 20-year-old sawmill worker, part of a six-member crew trying to clear a jammed roller at Rex Lumber LLC in Troy in December 2022 , was crushed when stored energy caused the infeed unit to close on him.

OSHA issued a willful citation for allowing workers to perform maintenance on equipment without controlling hazardous energy sources. The company also failed to review its energy control procedures regularly to ensure compliance and did not train employees on how to isolate stored energy in hydraulic accumulators.

The incident follows tragedies in 2021 and 2020 related to improper machine operations at two Rex Lumber sawmills in Florida . At the Graceville location in March 2021 , an employee trying to fix a machine’s faulty hydraulic valve suffered crushing injuries when they were caught in the machine’s wheels and pulleys. In December 2020 , a worker suffered an amputation injury — and died in a hospital days later — after their hand came in contact with the nip point of a conveyor’s roller at the Bristol, Florida , location.

“Rex Lumber’s failure to comply with well-known safety requirements led to the death of a worker and put others at serious risk of harm,” explained OSHA Area Office Director Jose Gonzalez in Mobile, Alabama . “Safety standards exist to protect workers from the hazards of moving machinery and when followed, they can save lives.”

After its investigation in Troy , OSHA assessed the company with $184,385 in proposed penalties. Since 2013, the agency has cited the sawmill operator and its subsidiaries for 19 serious and other-than-serious violations.

Operating since 1926, Rex Lumber LLC has sawmills in Troy, Alabama ; South Windsor, Connecticut ; Bristol and Graceville, Florida ; Acton, Massachusetts ; Brookhaven, Mississippi ; and Doswell, Virginia . The company employs about 360 workers who harvest lumber from yellow pine.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA , or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission .

Visit OSHA’s website for information on developing a workplace safety and health program. Employers can also contact the agency for information about OSHA’s compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards

Media Contacts: 

Erika B. Ruthman , 678-237-0630, ruthman.erika.b@dol.gov
Eric R. Lucero , 678-237-0630, lucero.eric.r@dol.gov

Release Number:  23-1254-ATL (220)


* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Jason Irving
Jason Irving
- SVP Enterprise Solutions -

We offer built-to-order forestry & timberland coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.