Alabama company fined $218K after worker killed in lumber mill accident

Published 9:45 pm Thursday, July 9, 2020

$218K in death of worker hit by wood in jammed machine

An Alabama lumber and flooring company has been fined $218,000 in the death of a worker hit by wood while trying to clear a jammed machine on Jan. 14.

Miller & Co. Inc. failed to protect the worker at its plant in Selma, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday in a news release.

Specifically, it said, the company failed to ensure that the machine, called a side matcher, could not start up during maintenance or to teach employees how to make sure that didn’t happen. It also cited Miller & Co. for failing to ensure machines were properly guarded.

OSHA’s citation said the company has until July 24 to correct the violations.

A telephone call to Miller & Co. was not immediately returned.

OSHA fined the company $10,390 for the lack of training, which it described as serious, and $207,802 for what it described as two “willful” violations. One was failing to develop and use procedures “for the control of potentially hazardous energy.“ The other was failing to use protective equipment on the machine.

OSHA did not identify or give the sex of the worker.