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November 09, 2012
Wood products company cited for amputation, other hazards

OSHA has cited Northeastern Wisconsin Wood Products for 16 alleged health and safety violations including willfuls and repeats. The action was taken after a follow-up inspection at the company’s Pound facility. The site manufactures parts for wood pallets and containers.

Many of the violations are for exposing workers to amputation hazards. Total proposed penalties total $184,800.

The willfuls involve a lack of machine guarding, unguarded open-sided floors, and platforms. The repeat health violations are for failing to implement hearing conservation and hazard communication programs. OSHA found serious fire and explosion hazards due to accumulated sawdust as well.

“Northeastern Wisconsin Wood Products has a history of failing to comply with OSHA standards dating back to 2006,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Nick Walters. “Even after being placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) and working with the Wisconsin state consultation service, the company has yet to abate many violations cited in previous inspections.”

The most recent follow-up inspection was a result of violations found in a January 2011 inspection. That visit resulted in 18 violations and placement in SVEP, which concentrates on employers that demonstrate “recalcitrance or indifference” to their safety and health obligations.

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