OSHA cites St. Regis' Tricon Timber for safety violations

2012-08-27T20:30:00Z OSHA cites St. Regis' Tricon Timber for safety violationsBy JENNA CEDERBERG of the Missoulian missoulian.com
August 27, 2012 8:30 pm  • 

ST. REGIS – Tricon Timber LLC in St. Regis has been cited for 27 safety violations after officials received a complaint in February, alleging workers had been injured there.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the sawmill for 25 serious and two repeat violations, carrying proposed penalties totaling $128,700.

The citations were issued Aug. 21 after OSHA carried out inspections at Tricon during February and March.

Tricon safety manager Stacey Neill had no comment on the citations.

This is the second time since February 2011 the millsite has been cited for violating several safety standards, including failing to guard augers in the boiler room and ensure that the shaft ends on stackers are guarded. The citations carry penalties of $48,510, a news release from OSHA said.

The 25 serious violations include failing to ensure that workers are protected from fall hazards by providing standard guardrails, include workers in a fully implemented respiratory protection program, provide adequate personal protective equipment, provide an eyewash and emergency shower station, implement a comprehensive energy control program and guard machines. The serious violation citations carry penalties of $80,190, the release said.

According to the OSHA news release, Tricon has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Billings office or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

“Unfortunately, this employer is not taking the steps needed to ensure that workers have a safe and healthful workplace,” Jeff Funke said in the release. Funke is the agency’s area director in Billings. “In addition to a wide range of other dangers, Tricon Timber continues to expose workers to the same hazards cited last year, and OSHA is taking these repeat violations seriously.”

Reporter Jenna Cederberg can be reached at 523-5241 or at jenna.cederberg@missoulian.com.

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(2) Comments

  1. Richland1
    Report Abuse
    Richland1 - August 28, 2012 12:14 pm
    With this many citations and the gravity of same, we are wondering why this place of employment is allowed to stay open and continue to expose their work force to unsafe work conditions?? OSHA should have shut down the mill until such time as all hazards had been mitigated and OSHA had made another inspetion to ensure the mill was once again a safe place to work. The big question is why hasn't their mill Safety Professional already corrected these easily identified serious hazards and corrected them "prior" to OSHA,s inspection and citations---
  2. Matthew Koehler
    Report Abuse
    Matthew Koehler - August 28, 2012 8:03 am
    It should be noted that Tricon Timber, a frequent logger of national forest lands, was one of the Montana timber mills who in May 2012 took part in $30,000 worth of statewide newspaper ads attacking the Alliance for Wild Rockies and calling for an end to the public appeals process and exempting many Montana national forest timber sales from judicial review.

    Perhaps instead of spending money on full-page newspaper ads to complain about environmentalists' supposed “frivolous lawsuits” and demand 'logging without laws' on our national forests, the owners and managers of St. Regis' Tricon Timber should take steps to protect their workers from repeated safety violations.
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