Worker's Chain Saw Injury Leads to $153,600 Penalty

Three willful violations with penalties of $147,000 involve not providing protective leg coverings and eye or face shields to employees who operated chain saws, and not providing hard hats to employees working on the ground under trees.

OSHA has cited Gainesville Tree Service Co. of Alachua, Fla., for six safety violations carrying proposed penalties of $153,600. OSHA began an inspection after a worker suffered a serious cut to his thigh by a chain saw at a Gainesville jobsite in March.

Three willful violations with penalties of $147,000 involve not providing protective leg coverings and eye or face shields to employees who operated chain saws, and not providing hard hats to employees working on the ground under trees.

Two serious violations carrying $6,600 in penalties involve failing to have a person adequately trained to provide first aid, make adequate first-aid supplies readily available in the workplace, and have a written plan designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to bloodborne pathogens. The company had not developed an emergency response or rescue plan for employees injured in trees, aerial lifts, or other situations.

One other-than-serious citation with no monetary penalty was cited for failing to develop a hazard communication program that included material safety data sheets as well as training for employees using flammable liquids and petroleum lubricants.

"OSHA expects employers to be proactive by providing the protective equipment needed to prevent injuries, rather than wait for an incident with severe consequences, such as this one, to occur," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville.

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