OSHA cites Shingleton Timber & Trucking for noise, safety hazards at Augusta, West Virginia facility, proposes more than US$49,500 in fines

AUGUSTA, West Virginia , June 15, 2012 (press release) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited lumber manufacturer Shingleton Timber & Trucking Inc. for noise and safety hazards at its Augusta facility. OSHA initiated an inspection in January as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program on Amputations and found four repeat, three serious and one other-than-serious violation. Proposed penalties total $49,500.

The repeat violations include failing to establish a valid baseline audiogram, institute a noise training program, conduct annual noise training and obtain an annual audiogram. The citations carry $36,960 in penalties. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in 2009.

The serious violations include failing to provide a standard railing adjacent to a moving conveyor, provide an energy control program, and implement feasible engineering and administrative controls to reduce noise exposures. The citations carry $11,880 in penalties. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violation is failing to have the highest ranking official on-site certify the OSHA 300A injury and illness forms. The citation carries a $660 penalty. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

"This company continues to put its workers at risk by not addressing these preventable hazards," said Prentice Cline, OSHA's area director in Charleston. "Employers are legally responsible for ensuring a safe and healthful workplace for employees and will be held responsible when they fail to do so."

Shingleton Timber & Trucking employs 23 workers at its Augusta location. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's OSHA's Charleston office; telephone 304-347-5937.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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