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Region 4 News Release: 12-376-ATL (083)
March 12, 2012
Contact: Michael D'Aquino    Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076    404-562-2078
Email: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov     wald.michael@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Stella-Jones Corp. for 16 violations
following fatality at Alabama railroad tie manufacturing plant

WARRIOR, Ala. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Stella-Jones Corp., a manufacturer of railroad ties, with 16 safety violations, including one willful, following the crushing death of a worker who was caught in a machine at the company's facility in Warrior.

OSHA's Birmingham Area Office initiated an inspection Sept. 12 in response to the fatality. The willful violation is failing to install guards to prevent access to the rotating and moving parts of a pre-plate boring machine used to drill holes into railroad ties. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

"Management failed to install the protections designed by the machine's manufacturer to prevent entrapment," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham. "This incident could have been avoided if the company had followed OSHA standards and the machine manufacturer's specifications."

Twelve serious violations involve failing to cover openings in the conveyor where employees could step into the machinery, provide machine guards on a conveyor or saw, conduct inspections of energy control procedures, develop lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unplanned energizing of the pre-plate machine when it was being serviced, mark permit-required confined spaces, evaluate the ability to respond to a rescu