News Brief

Please note:  As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

Bickmore, West Virginia, logging company cited for exposing workers to safety hazards
OSHA fines Ray Clearing Inc. more than $35K for federal violations

Employer name: Ray Clearing Inc. is a logging company located at 86 Landmark Drive in Bickmore, West Virginia. The inspection was conducted at Imperial Coal Tract in Cabin Creek, West Virginia.

Citations issued: On Dec. 4, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for 22 serious and one other-than-serious violation.

Investigation findings: OSHA's Charleston Area Office initiated an inspection on Aug. 4, 2015, under its local emphasis program focused on logging.

Inspectors issued citations due to employees using chainsaws to fell 12-inch diameter trees without the proper protection--chaps, heavy duty logging boots, eye protection and face protection--and the lack of head protection for employees working in woods, where there is a potential for being struck by falling limbs.

Other serious violations include employees exposed to falls and crushing injuries when permitted to ride as passengers on mobile vehicles without an assigned seat and seat belt, and a chainsaw that was operated with a broken chain catch which exposed employees to a struck-by hazard involving a broken or dislodged chain.

The logging industry has been recognized as one of the five most hazardous industries, based on injury rates, and has historically been the source of multiple fatalities in West Virginia. In 2013, 10 percent of all occupational fatalities in West Virginia occurred in logging.

Proposed penalties: $35,200

Quote: "Logging is an inherently dangerous industry, and when the necessary safeguards are not utilized, workers are left vulnerable to hazards that can result in serious injuries and possibly death," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Office. "Employers have a legal obligation to ensure workers have a safe and healthy workplace, and will be held accountable when they fail to do so."

View the citations:

Ray Clearing Inc.'s workers' compensation insurer is Brickstreet, located in Charleston, West Virginia.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Charleston Area Office at 304-347-5937.

OSHA News Brief: 
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Joanna Hawkins

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Leni Fortson

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