A sawmill operated by Griffin Lumber & Hardware in Georgia has been cited by the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a temporary worker’s left arm was amputated when his jacket was caught in the drive shaft of a conveyor belt in January.
Griffin Lumber received a willful violation for failing to ensure workers were protected from an unguarded sprocket and chain. The company faces a proposed penalty of $56,000.
“Griffin management admitted to inspectors that the unguarded parts had been that way for a long time,” said Robert Vazzi, OSHA’s area director in Savannah. “This terrible incident proves the company can no longer ignore worker safety and must address all safety hazards immediately.”
The worker was placed by Labor Finders, a staffing agency that provides Griffin Lumber with temporary workers. Griffin Lumber was responsible for daily supervision, training and direction of the temporary workers. OSHA concluded an inspection with Labor Finders and issued no citations to the staffing agency.
Griffin Lumber has been inspected three times since 2013 and received citations for unsafe forklift usage, unguarded machinery and other workplace hazards, OSHA reported.
Since April 2013, OSHA has worked to improve workplace safety and health for temporary workers, who the agency says are at increased risk of work-related injury and illness.