Wisconsin lumber company fined nearly $300,000 for dangerous conditions after employee death

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A northeastern Wisconsin lumber company has been fined nearly $300,000 by federal safety regulators for continuing to expose workers to amputation and other dangers years after an employee was killed on the job.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Tuesday that it fined Tigerton Lumber Company $283,608 on Dec. 22. The agency said that an inspection last July uncovered violations of multiple federal safety regulations, ranging from inadequate guards on machines, stairs without railings, conveyors not fenced off or marked as prohibited areas, open electrical boxes and a lack of signs warning employees not to enter dangerous areas.

The inspection was part of an OSHA program to monitor severe violators. The company was designated as such after 46-year-old employee Scott Spiegel was killed while working with logging equipment in 2018.

The company’s corporate controller, Sara Morack, didn’t immediately return a message Tuesday.

A northern Wisconsin sawmill agreed in September to pay nearly $191,000 in U.S. Labor Department penalties after a teenage employee was killed on the job. Sixteen-year-old Michael Schuls died in July after he became pinned in a wood-stacking machine at Florence Hardwoods.

An ensuing investigation found that three teens ages 15 to 16 were hurt at the sawmill between November 2021 and March 2023.


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