IOSHA fines Amish factory $4,000 for safety violations

The owner of Timberline Crating said he didn't know he was violating child labor laws.
The owner of Timberline Crating said he didn't know he was violating child labor laws.

SPENCERVILLE, Ind. (WANE) – The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) has handed down more than $4,000 in fines toward the Amish pallet factory Timberline Crating, located near Spencerville.  This comes several months after a 15-year-old girl’s arm was cut off by a woodworking machine and the state cited the factory for a dozen child labor violations.

After two different inspections, IOSHA issued eight serious violations on Timberline Crating October 11.  Those include:

  • Didn’t provide suitable guards for the rotating cutters of a dual wood notching machine
  • No noise monitoring for employees working with sawing, notching, and pneumatic machines
  • Employees didn’t have enough protective equipment (safety goggles, rubber aprons, gloves, etc.) around sulfuric acid, power saws, notching machine, pneumatic nailer, flying wood chips, transporting wood
  • No access to eyewash station and chemical shower around battery charging area with sulfuric acid
  • No hazardous communication program for employees exposed to sulfuric acid and hydrogen gas.  Employees filled motorized hand truck batteries with water and checked electrolyte levels once a month

IOSHA found one nonserious violation in Timberline Crating.  The factory didn’t keep OSHA logs to record injuries for the past three years.  In total, IOSHA fined Timberline crating $4,350 for the serious and non-serious violations.

The 15-year-old girl had her arm cut off while using a wood notching machine in May.  Indiana’s Bureau of Child Labor found seven different children involved in a dozen child labor violations just a month later.  But the agency only issued Timberline Crating a warning since it was the factory’s first offense.

In June, 15 Finds Out first reported that the Amish factory could face up to $70,000 in fines for safety violations.  Timberline Crating’s consequences weren’t as severe because IOSHA didn’t find any “knowing violations.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division confirmed an investigation on the federal level in June.  Their investigation should be completed by the end of 2013.

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