Lumber Company Fined $24,000 Following Employee’s Death

May 14th, 2019 by Amber Galaviz

A Virginia-based lumber company is facing more than $24,000 in fines after an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found multiple safety violations lead to the death of one of its employees.

According to a news release by the Albemarle County Police Department, on July 25, 2018, the department responded to an industrial accident at Yancey Lumber Company. Floriberta Macedo-Diaz, 46, died as a result of injuries she sustained at the job site, police said, prompting an investigation by OSHA.

A subsidy of the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA sets and enforces standards for safe and healthy working conditions.

According to OSHA documentation, an investigation into the accident revealed that Macedo-Diaz sustained a fatal head injury when six pieces of lumber fell on her. “[She] was walking to her work area transporting empty water bottles to the water location in preparation for the work day,” an incident report states. The accident occurred on the grounds of R.A. Yancey Lumber Corp., in Crozet, Va.

In recent weeks, local news sources began reporting the final outcome. OSHA cited the lumber company with four “serious” violations and an initial penalty of $34,705. However, through informal settlements, the current penalty is set at $24,294

OSHA cited the lumber company with four “serious” violations and an initial penalty of $34,705. However, through informal settlements, the current penalty is set at $24,294.

OSHA regulations found to be violated through the incident include:

  • 1910.151(b) – In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid supplies shall be readily available. (Initial penalty: $6,235; current penalty: $4,365);
  • 178(l)(3)(ii)(C) – Load manipulation, stacking, and unstacking (initial penalty: $3,530; current penalty: $2,471);
  • 265(c)(27)(iii) – unstable piles; piles of lumber which have become unstable shall be immediately made safe, or the area into which they might fall shall be fenced or barricaded and employees prohibited from entering it. (initial penalty: $12,470; current penalty: $8,729); and
  • 265(c)(27)(v) – sticker alignment; stickers shall extend the full width of the package, shall be uniformly spaced, and shall be aligned one above the other. Stickers may be lapped with a minimum overlapping of 12 inches. Stickers shall not protrude more than 2 inches beyond the sides of the package. (initial penalty: $12,470; current penalty: $8,729).

A representative of OSHA has confirmed with DWM that the case is now closed. According to inspection details published by the administration, a final abatement was made in March.

A request for a comment from R.A. Yancey Lumber Corporation had not been met by the time of this publication.

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