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OSHA cites International Paper after worker suffers severe shock

February 5, 2015 | By Anthony Capkun

February 5, 2015 – In September 2014, a 24-year-old temporary maintenance employee at International Paper Co. (Madison, Ohio) suffered a severe electrical shock, resulting in burns involving hospitalization, and leaving him unable to work for more than four months.

“International Paper has a responsibility to train and equip its employees properly,” said Brigitte Frank, OSHA’s acting area director in Cleveland. “Workers should never conduct maintenance and troubleshooting without first shutting down all electrical sources. Doing so can prevent severe injuries like those suffered by this worker.”

An investigation of incident by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration found the worker—who had been employed for about nine months—had inadvertent contact with electrical equipment while performing end-of-shift cleanup in and around a printing and die-cutting machine.

Their investigation 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. Proposed penalties total $85,000.


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.

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