October 28, 2020

Mississippi paper facility faces $300K in OSHA fines

A Mississippi paper manufacturer faces more than $300,000 in safety fines for alleged workplace hazard violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited von Drehle Corp. for safety hazards that put employees at risk of injury at its facility in Natchez, Mississippi.

The paper manufacturer faces $303,657 in penalties, including one for the maximum amount allowed by law.

An OSHA inspection of the company’s facility resulted in citations for exposing employees to electrical hazards; lack of machine guarding; allowing combustible dust to accumulate on surfaces; failing to lockout machinery to control hazardous energy; exposing employees to arc-flash; and allowing slip, trip, and fall hazards.

“Employers are required to assess potential hazards, and make necessary corrections to ensure a safe workplace,” said OSHA Jackson Area Office Director Courtney Bohannon. “The inspection results demonstrate workplace deficiencies existed putting workers at serious risk of injury or death.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Von Drehle is headquartered in Hickory, North Carolina, and manufacturers industrial and commercial paper products at facilities in North Carolina, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee.