Summary of Eel River Sawmills, Inc. – Decision after reconsideration

A millwright assigned to repair a chain and sprocket drive on a log conveyor that was right next to a scissor lift de-energized the conveyor for the socket drive, but did not de-energize the scissor lift. An employee was fatally injured when the base of the scissor lift and the lifting mechanism descended. Employer was cited for a deficient energy control procedure that was not clear and specific enough to comply with section 3314(f). Employer interpreted section 3314(f) [energy control procedures] as requiring only “an outline” for the control of hazardous energy which does not need to be machine specific. The board disagreed and held that both the purpose and language of section 3314(f) requires machine specific energy control procedures. The board reasoned it would make little sense and would not afford meaningful employee protection to interpret the safety order as requiring a generalized outline which is not specific to machinery or equipment on which employees would perform the protected activities. The language in section 3314(f) indicates that specificity is required. The board sustained a general violation of section 3314(f).

Eel River Sawmills, Inc., 00-3623 (MS Word)
Eel River Sawmills, Inc., 00-3623 (Adobe Acrobat)

September 3, 2003