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OSHA fines Texas crate and pallet company $248K


A Jacksonville, Texas, wood crate and pallet manufacturer faces $248,866 in proposed penalties over what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls a “history of workplace safety violations” after a February inspection found that the company exposed workers to amputation hazards.

OSHA for the fourth time opened an inspection of M&H Crates Inc. after receiving a complaint, and it determined the company failed to develop, document or use lockout/tagout procedures to prevent sudden machine startups. It also found the company failed to ensure required machine guarding, which exposed workers to hazards, including amputation, according to an announcement Thursday by the Department of Labor.

OSHA cited M&H Crates for serious and repeat violations for machine guarding hazards, housekeeping issues and failing to provide hearing protection as required. OSHA had previously cited M&H Crates following inspections in 2012, 2014 and 2020. In June 2020, inspectors examined safety failures after an employee cutting pallet boards suffered a finger amputation while using an unguarded band saw, according to OSHA.

The company has 15 business days to appeal the latest citations.