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PCA in Tomahawk Fined By OSHA

Federal workplace safety officials announced $185,000 in fines Thursday against a Tomahawk cardboard box plant where an employee was severely burned in March -- and where five other workers died in mishaps since 2008. In the latest incident, a worker at the Packaging Corporation of America was in the process of re-lighting a steam boiler when he got burned.

The U-S Occupational Safety-and-Health Administration said P-C-A should have taken steps to prevent flammable vapors from being ignited -- and giving employees proper safety equipment. OSHA said the P-C-A committed 30 safety violations in the latest incident. The firm can either pay or challenge the fines, or seek a settlement conference to lower its penalties -- which happens in a many cases.

In July of last year, two contractors at the Tomahawk plant were killed by burning fly ash. In 2008, three P-C-A employees died while performing maintenance at the top of a storage tank for recycled fibers. A fourth employee was injured. P-C-A has not commented on the latest citations. The firm is based in Lake Forest Illinois, north of Chicago.

(Thanks, Learfield Data-Wheeler News)