Worker hospitalized after electric shock at International Paper

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Occupational safety and health

Picture credit:
Picture credit:
International Paper Co. is facing $85,000 fines after a 24-year-old temporary maintenance worker suffered burns and was hospitalized, after he was electrocuted at its factory in Madison, Ohio. 

OSHA (US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration) said the worker, who had been employed for about nine months, had inadvertent contact with electrical equipment while carrying out an end-of-shift cleanup in and around a printing and die-cutting machine. 

Man dies in New York paper mill

The victim was unable to work for more than four months after the incident. 

Foodproductiondaily reported yesterday worker Jorg Borowski​, a 57-year-old member of the maintenance team died from burns at the Ticonderoga, New York International Paper mill, on Friday January 23.  

Talking about the latest incident, Tom Ryan, director global media relations and employee communications, International Paper said: “We did receive the citations and we are meeting with OSHA officials soon​.  

We are committed to the health and safety of our employees and contractors​.” 

The latest investigation on September 14, 2014, found the paperboard mill lacked procedures for preventing workers from contacting operating and energized machinery parts, which resulted in three repeated and two serious safety violations.   

International Paper has a responsibility to train employees properly

Workers should never conduct maintenance and trouble-shooting without first shutting down all electrical sources. Doing so can prevent severe injuries like those suffered by this worker​,” said Brigitte Frank, acting area director, OSHA, Cleveland. 

​International Paper has a responsibility to train and equip its employees properly.” 

International Paper failed to implement and train workers in energy control procedures for machinery, resulting in three repeated violations. The company was cited for similar violations in July 2011 at a facility in Chicago.

OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. 

Inspectors also noted two serious violations for exposing workers to operating machinery parts on conveyers, putting employees at risk for electrical shock and amputation injuries. 

Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, International Paper has manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. 

Its businesses include industrial and consumer packaging and uncoated papers. With net sales of $29bn in 2013, the company employs approximately 65,000 people and is located in more than 24 countries. 

International Paper has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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.

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