Federal labor regulators fined a New York paperboard company more than $350,000 for dozens of workplace safety violations found during a December inspection.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleged that Carthage Specialty Paperboard's mill in upstate New York lacked restraints on metal catwalks, safety guards to prevent amputations and locks to halt start-ups during equipment maintenance.
OSHA inspectors also found that employees did not receive required training or safety equipment and were sent into confined spaces without atmospheric testing or rescue protocols in place. The company also allegedly failed to inspect cranes and hoists.
In total, the agency cited the company for 61 violations and proposed $357,445 in penalties.
“The violations found during this investigation put employees at serious risk of injury or even worse,” OSHA area director Christopher Adams said in a statement. “This is a significant number of hazards for a single workplace."
The company intends to contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. A Carthage official told WWNY-TV that the company is addressing the problems and that the financial penalties should instead go toward improvements at the mill.
"So far they haven't given us any indication that we aren't making acceptable progress," said Mike Cammenga, the company's vice president of operations.