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Region 4 News Release: 10-1272-ATL (546)
Sept. 22, 2010
Contact: Michael D'Aquino     Michael Wald
Email: D'Aquino.Michael@dol.gov     Wald.Michael@dol.gov
Phone: 404-562-2076     404-562-2078

Thomson, Ga., paper manufacturer cited by US Labor Department's OSHA
for willful, serious safety violations following amputation of worker's fingers

THOMSON, Ga. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited McDuffie Box Co. Inc. in Thomson for alleged safety violations. Penalties total $47,550.

OSHA began its inspection in March after receiving a complaint concerning improper machine guarding that caused an employee to lose several fingers on one hand. The complaint also addressed the issues of no emergency stops on machines, slip hazards, lack of forklift training and inoperable horns on forklifts.

The company is being cited with one willful safety violation with $42,000 in proposed penalties for failing to develop specific lockout/tagout procedures for accidental energy start-up regarding several machines in the facility. A willful citation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The facility is also being cited with nine serious violations with $5,550 in proposed penalties. The violations concern exposing employees to amputation hazards, improper storing of cylinders that create struck-by hazards and several electrical deficiencies.

"This injury could have been prevented if the employer implemented OSHA standards for lockout/tagout procedures," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Management knew what the standard is and failed to make the required change to protect its workers."

The company has 15 business