Claremont paper mill fined $288k in worker’s death

A New Hampshire paper mill has been fined by a federal agency for workplace safety violations that led to the death of a worker last year.APC Paper Co. Inc. in Claremont has been fined $288,000 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for what it said were alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of workplace health and safety standards.On July 26, 2010, Leo Gonyea of Enfield was hand-feeding a paper roller when he was pulled into the machine and died. The 34-year-old had worked at the mill for a year.The OSHA inspection found that, aside from hand-feeding, the company failed to provide employees with an effective way of feeding paper into the roller. It also found other moving parts on the machine were not guarded against employee contact.”Had the company utilized a safe and effective means of automatically feeding the roller, instead of relying on hand-feeding, this incident and the resulting loss of this worker’s life would not have occurred,” said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA’s area director for New Hampshire.APC Paper received three willful citations for the conditions. An additional seven serious citations were issued for further hazards at the mill, including lack of guardrails on the paper machine and building’s roof, not de-energizing live equipment and not training employees who tested and worked on electrical equipment.Three other-than-serious violations were issued, as well as a repeat citation for not guarding the calendar stock on the paper machine, for which the company had received a similar violation at the company’s Norfolk, N.Y., plant in November 2009.The company – which was fined $210,000 for the willful citations, $40,000 for the serious citations, $3,000 for the other-than-serious citations and $35,000 for the repeat citation – has 15 days to pay or contest the penalty.APC human resources manager Laura Gilbert told The Associated Press the company had no comment on the fines. — KATHLEEN CALLAHAN/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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