OSHA Fines Arkansas Sawmill

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A federal workplace safety investigation determined that a 39-year-old employee of a south Arkansas sawmill suffered fatal injuries from a lumber stacking machine at its Bearden location.

OSHA inspectors found the employee of Anthony Timberlands Inc. was cleaning around and beneath the machine in February when its hoist table fell. The lumber stacking system was installed in 2022 without any barrier devices to prevent employees from entering the area beneath the stacker hoist.

OSHA cited the company for four serious violations, including failing to provide lockout and tagout procedures to prevent a machine from starting and moving during maintenance, not ensuring that guards were in place beneath the stacking system, failing to provide barriers to stop employees from entering the danger zone, and not making sure to have signage in place to warn employees about crushing hazards.

The agency proposed $218,759 in penalties for the violations.

“This is not the first time an employee of Anthony Timberlands has died due the company’s failure to follow established safety requirements for working near automated machinery,” said OSHA area director Kia McCullough. “This company’s continued disregard for the safety and well-being of its employees is inexcusable and must stop. Ensuring workers’ safety is not optional, it’s the law.”

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Anthony Timberlands Inc. has approximately 800 employees at seven Arkansas locations.