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OSHA Cites Anthony Timberlands After Worker Death

2 min read

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Anthony Timberlands Inc. of Bearden and proposed a $218,759 fine over a worker death in February.

Henry Pascual, 39, was cleaning around an automated lumber stacking machine at the company’s sawmill in Bearden when the machine’s hoist table fell on him, OSHA reported. Pascual died from his injuries.

According to OSHA, inspectors learned the company had the lumber stacking system installed in July 2022 without any barrier devices to prevent employees from entering the area beneath the stacker hoist.

The agency issued citations for four violations, including failing to provide lockout and tagout procedures to prevent a machine from starting and moving during maintenance; not ensuring that guards were in place beneath the stacking system; failing to provide barriers to stop employees from entering the danger zone; and not making sure to have signage in place to warn employees about crushing hazards.

In a statement, Anthony Timberlands said it goes to great lengths to provide a safe working environment for employees, and that it has policies and procedures in place to prevent such accidents.

“Sometimes, accident investigations reveal hazards that were not foreseen prior to the accident,” the statement says. “In the case at Bearden, we never imagined a scenario where this incident would occur, so a barrier to entry was not constructed or provided by the equipment manufacturer.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.

In a statement, OSHA Area Director Kia McCullough said it’s not the first time the agency has cited Anthony Timberlands. She also blasted the company’s “continued disregard for the safety and well-being of its employees.”

OSHA cited the company in August 2022 after an employee at its Malvern facility suffered fatal injuries when an unguarded sharp chain activated. Anthony Timberlands disputed the agency’s account of the incident, saying machine guarding was in place.

OSHA also cited the employer in January 2020, when an employee in its Bearden facility suffered a thumb amputation when their finger made contact with an unguarded chipper feeder.

Anthony Timberlands noted that until last year, 35 years had gone by since an employee at any of its eight industrial plant sites had died in a work-related accident. The company said such accidents are “devastating to all parties involved” and pushed back against McCullough’s comments.

“For the OSHA Area Director to allege that the safety of our employees is not a priority for our company is despicable and grossly inaccurate,” the company said.

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