OSHA cites MT Timber Mill for repeated safety violations

According to an article in today’s Missoulian:
Tricon Timber LLC in St. Regis [Montana] has been cited for 27 safety violations after officials received a complaint in February, alleging workers had been injured there.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the sawmill for 25 serious and two repeat violations, carrying proposed penalties totaling $128,700….

This is the second time since February 2011 the millsite has been cited for violating several safety standards, including failing to guard augers in the boiler room and ensure that the shaft ends on stackers are guarded. The citations carry penalties of $48,510, a news release from OSHA said.

The 25 serious violations include failing to ensure that workers are protected from fall hazards by providing standard guardrails, include workers in a fully implemented respiratory protection program, provide adequate personal protective equipment, provide an eyewash and emergency shower station, implement a comprehensive energy control program and guard machines. The serious violation citations carry penalties of $80,190, the release said….

Unfortunately, this employer is not taking the steps needed to ensure that workers have a safe and healthful workplace,” Jeff Funke said in the release. Funke is the agency’s area director in Billings. “In addition to a wide range of other dangers, Tricon Timber continues to expose workers to the same hazards cited last year, and OSHA is taking these repeat violations seriously.”

It should be noted that Tricon Timber, a frequent logger of national forest lands, was one of the Montana timber mills who in May 2012 took part in $30,000 worth of statewide newspaper ads attacking the Alliance for Wild Rockies and calling for an end to the public appeals process and exempting many Montana national forest timber sales from judicial review.  Perhaps instead of spending money to complain about environmentalists and supposed “frivolous lawsuits” the owners and managers of Tricon Timber should have taken steps to protect their workers from repeated safety violations.