OSHA: Park Falls paper mill didn't protect workers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

OSHA: Park Falls paper mill didn't protect workers

PARK FALLS (WAOW) - The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Flambeau River Papers for failing to protect workers from exposure to sulfur dioxide at its paper mill.

Sulfur dioxide is used in treating wood pulp for paper manufacturing and can cause adverse effects to the respiratory tract when vapors are inhaled, OSHA said.

Randy Stoeckel, president and general manager of Flambeau River Papers, said Wednesday the company received the citations and was reviewing them.

OSHA said the eight violations involved standards for managing hazards associated with dangerous chemicals, including failing to document safe operating limits and complying with good engineering practices for equipment.

"The severe health effects of hazardous chemicals are completely preventable with proper training and protection, which Flambeau River Papers failed to provide to employees," said Mark Hysell, OSHA's area director in Eau Claire.

OSHA said six of the violations were considered serious, meaning there was a "substantial probability" that a worker could have been killed or seriously hurt because of the hazard.

The violations carry proposed penalties of $42,300, OSHA said in a statement.

Flambeau River Papers can contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, OSHA said.

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