An employer that fails to follow safety standards leaves workers like Charlie Cummins, Jr. to suffer the consequences.
On May 4, 2016, the saw operator with more than 20 years with Hankins Lumber Co. was attempting to adjust a pin stuck in the up position on an infeed table of a gang saw. Suddenly, unguarded sprocket on a rotating shaft entangled his clothes, leaving him pinned against the equipment and unable to breathe fully. Cummins then lost consciousness. Taken to a local hospital after others freed him, the 56-year-old man later died of his injuries.
OSHA investigated and found his employer failed to ensure proper machine guards and emergency shut-off procedures were in place. The agency issued 12 serious and three other-than-serious safety and health violations to Hankins Lumber.
"Had Hankins Lumber met its responsibilities to protect its workers, Charlie Cummins would not have died needlessly," said Eugene Stewart, OSHA's area director in the Jackson Office. "Every employer must ensure equipment is guarded and safety procedures are operational in the event of an emergency."
OSHA has proposed $80,937 in penalties.